Moore resident survives through May 20 tornado only to see homet

Moore resident survives through May 20 tornado only to see hometown devastated by weekend tornadoes

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MOORE -

As Evelyn Shaffer flips through her high school yearbook, she remembers her childhood in Washington, IL.

"My fondest memories are homecoming and Friday night football," said Shaffer.

Shaffer lives in Moore now, but still has family and friends living in areas damaged by the deadly storm.

"Looking at the pictures that my friends are sending on Facebook, it looks like more, but it's Washington," she said.

All of Shaffer's loved ones are safe and accounted for, but she worries the resources in Washington are limited.

"Washington is smaller than Moore," she explained.

As all eyes turn the Midwest, American Red Cross volunteers in Central Oklahoma are standing by.

"As Oklahomans, we know firsthand what it is like to go through something like this," said Christopher Sommer, spokesperson for the American Red Cross.

Central Oklahoma crews have not been called yet, but officials say they are ready to go.

"We have hundreds of volunteers who are ready to answer that call and pay it forward since so many people in those affected states came here to help us in our time of need," said Sommer.

Many out-of-state volunteers helped families like The Paynes.

"I know what they're going through," said Julie Payne, "my neighborhood was taken also."

Payne's children were inside Plaza Towers Elementary School when the tornado hit on May 20, it has been a long recovery process, but she has this piece of advice for families affected in the Midwest.

"Take it day by day," said Payne.

Shaffer may be in Oklahoma now, but she is still in Illinois girl at heart.

"My heart is there right now and my prayers," said Shaffer.

Shaffer Says her home was spared from the May storms, but she has spent much of her time helping friends and neighbors recover over the last six months.  

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