Top US officials tour tornado-hit South

New: Several members of the Barack Obama Cabinet tour Mississippi and Alabama new: FEMAs chief says: "that will be a hard recovery, but are survivors" are researchers and volunteers, trying looking after missing and help to SurvivorsThe University of Alabama student newspaper, the missing track

Smithville, Mississippi (CNN) -Top federal officials of voiced admiration and cooperation vowed Sunday to tornado-devastated areas in Alabama and Mississippi, much promising help for those it this week as they reconstruct their lives and communities the thunderstorm,.

"They go to life and newly create and need to restore,", said Craig Fugate, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in Birmingham. "They give the respect that they a survivor, not a victim."

Fugate has been by several members of President Barack Obama Cabinet, including the head of the departments of Homeland Security, agriculture, housing and urban development connected. You saw destruction in Birmingham, then West led Mississippi, where 15 of the city perished less than 900 people due to the powerful Twister to Smithville.

Photos of the devastation

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that the group to the best you take advantage of the potential of the Federal Government, various, was how it worked to States, communities and ultimately to help people. She promised that this effort will include short-term fixes and a long-term commitment in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and other States hit hardest.

"We work (affected) States, as well as, and these communities as well, distinguish it from this spring Stürme--to recover and heavily," Napolitano said.

About 148 devastating twisters Wednesday left a wide swath of death and destruction in 13 States. The death toll had 339 Sunday, according to emergency management officials in six of these countries rose to.

On Sunday some of which were laid down killed services visited while others, in the hope, the incident makes sense.

iReport photo of Tuscaloosa area

Tornado destroyed the Smithville Baptist Church in Mississippi. On Sunday, pastor of the Church calls Wes white, that gathered several hundred community members under a tent not to lose hope, but in turn to Jesus in the coming days and weeks.

"We have been changed." Our world will be never the same. This moment at the top of our imaginations are etched forever is, "said White."

Hours later the town played host Napolitano, Fugate and other members of the Obama administration.

They found that, despite the massive destruction only 22 people, because most of those affected by relatives, neighbours and fellow church members were included in temporary accommodation. This fact was the strong community in Smithville and surroundings, but-Staudammes not the enormous suffering and long-term challenges, said the officials.

Surgeon: ' I was just in shock

"If the Piggly Wiggly don't open, it's real bad, people", said Fugate. "Don't get it much worse..." This will be a hard recovery, but they are survivors. That is, why we are here. "

The administration officials said help offered - and red tape umgangen-- with everything from patching roofs to support the local timber industry for reconstruction companies help. You called that the affected to the FEMA phone at 1-800-621-3362 get registered and learn more about the process.

In many communities, the fight is disheartening.

In Alabama--the most powerful State in question - the death toll Sunday morning was 250 and the number of injured 2,219, emergency management officials said. Almost half a million customers in the State remained without electricity.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox said his city, where at least 39 people have died, is a "humanitarian crisis". Hundreds of people remain missing and were much more rendered homeless, he said.

Horror and hope in Tuscaloosa

Rescuers and volunteers have increased to the area from to and far, visitor address neighborhoods in search of the missing, and provides help for those who keep their destroyed homes in the vicinity.

"We all got together and we wanted to help," said Lorinda Rodriguez-Mitchell CNN on Sunday near Tuscaloosa, where she coordinated the collection and distribution of items such as diapers, cereals and water. "We are only there to provide food." Some people were there 40, 50 years and they are not leaving. "

Martin Izaguirre voluntary in the Hispanic community said, fear many shelters go.

He said that some have told him, "we are afraid, we welcome in places are not in the Spanish not spoken."

While searchers ausfächern, some have a more high-tech approach. The University of Alabama to make trying to track down school newspaper Crimson white some of Tuscaloosa's missing with the # UAMissing Hashtag on Twitter, said Hannah mask, former editor, who has worked on the project.

Hispanics struggle after storm Video

"It was really effective," she said to go back seems pointed out that the list of those for unclear.

Damage you cities such as Birmingham and Tuscaloosa may have been greater than the damage from smaller towns and rural areas probably a harder time restore will have greater Alabama, Red Cross spokeswoman said Anita foster.

"To suffer, these people have lost their loved ones, they have lost their community." There is never on people, the home, "said foster."

She noticed the sad response that they resident asks of a Hackleburg, Alabama, for you, whether the city could restore get.

The woman just the head shaking, foster said.CNN's Rob Marciano, Martin Savidge, Raja Razek and Gustavo Valdes contributed to this report.


Top US officials tour tornado-hit South