Alfre Woodard on Her Home State of Oklahoma

By ANTOINETTE BUENO

May 22, 2013

Though people all over the United States have been saddened by the death and destruction caused by the massive Oklahoma tornado Monday, actress Alfre Woodard has an especially deep connection to the natural disaster, having grown up in Tulsa.

"I do a lot of work around the world, and my politics are much more progressive than the conservative politics of Oklahoma, but I always tell people you know, person to person in Oklahoma, anybody would give you the shirt off their back," she fondly tells ET about her home state. "That's how people are -- they would just do that. So I know that they are reaching out and helping each other, but right now, we need to catch that same spirit -- that 'give the shirt off your back.' It's a culture of community there. It's an amazing place."

Video: 'Hangover' Stars' Emotional Reaction to Oklahoma Tornado

Woodard also describes the terrifying experience of worrying about her sister, who's a principal in Oklahoma.

"I texted her before, I said, 'Get to safety,'" she remembers. "And she said, 'I'm at school. We're all at school.' ... And I said, 'Are you safe?' later, and she didn't answer back. So about a couple of hours later, she texts, and she says, 'I'm home.' And I rang her, and she said, 'I've never been more nervous or panicked. But I'm the principal. I was acting today. Because I had all those kids. And there's nothing you can do.'"

Video: 'Fast & Furious 6' Cast Reacts to Oklahoma Tornado

Check out the video to hear her tips on how you can support the people of Oklahoma.

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