At 4:02 p.m. ET (3:02 CT) Monday, the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla., warned the residents of Moore, a suburb just south of Oklahoma City, that their lives were in peril.

The devastation that followed the next 45 minutes was felt throughout the sports world. Many simply offered the hashtag #PrayForOklahoma. Others offered instructions on how they could use their mobile devices to donate to relief efforts.

Those with personal connections to Oklahoma City and its surrounding communities were among the first to react on Twitter. Thunder star Kevin Durant, who on Tuesday pledged $1 million for relief efforts, was among them.

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, a native of nearby Midwest City, said he would let his bat do the talking:

The first tweet from Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, an Oklahoma City native, came at 5:09 ET, little more than an hour after the tornado touched down. He asked followers for prayers and assistance. (While McCoy called it an "F5" tornado, the storm has been classified an F4, at least for now.)

Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker is also a native of Oklahoma City. He used Twitter to offer a means for followers to donate to relief efforts.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, who played college football at Oklahoma State, had been in the region until Sunday.

For former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, the news struck a personal chord of a different kind. Wife Brenda's parents were killed in 1996 when a tornado struck their Arkansas home.

Other athletes offered prayers for the victims as they reflected on the devastation the storm caused.

Join the conversation and follow us on Twitter @ESPN.

Comment »