Woman coordinates tornado rescue efforts for Moore, Oklahoma using Facebook

MOORE, Okla. - There are many amazing stories coming out of Moore, Oklahoma of people helping one another, including that of Julia August.

August was able to help save several lives with the use of social media.

She said it all started with simple posts, making sure Facebook friends could see the latest information about the tornado on their smartphones since the power was out.

"They see circulation right now, pay attention," August said as she read a post. But as she read through more, it became too painful for her to read.

She went over another Facebook post with tears welling in her eyes.

"And the report of the 3-month-old and 4-year-old that were killed in the tornado," said August slowly taking a breath, "that's how old my grandkids are so I understand the horror and hurt that would cause."

After the tornado touched, August said her son quickly reached out to her, asking if she knew of anyone who needed immediate supplies. August posted this on Facebook, but after a few responses, she leaned her son's company had decided to donate the goods gathered instead of delivering them to individuals in need.

"It just didn't seem like enough because these people were probably scared. They were stuck, there was no help, no one around, no one could get in, no one may have even known they were there," August said.

So she hit Facebook again, this time asking who could help, coordinating an effort to get those on the ground in Moore to those who had family members still trapped.

With social media and text messages, sometimes connecting through three and four people, August successfully got help to at least four families, most of them complete strangers. There were families stranded in their devastated homes, a family with a toddler who had no clothes and a single dad who lost everything. 

To so many people, August is their hero.

"I don't know if I saved lives, but I helped people and who doesn't go to bed better every night knowing that you helped make a difference in someone's life whether you know them or not," she said.

And she's not finished. August said she was also able to get a truckload of goods to Edmond, Okla., which is about 30 minutes away. Officials said an EF-1 tornado struck Edmond Sunday before the EF-5 tornado came down in Moore the very next day.

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