One of the many things April 27 taught Tennessee Valley residents was to be prepared when bad weather hits.
Madison County churches did just that by creating mobile disaster units following those storms.
The trailers are stocked with necessary items to help tornado victims.
The January 23, 2012 storms are why the units are being deployed this weekend.
Nearly 300 homes in Jefferson County, alone, were damaged or destroyed.
“Well at first we didn’t realize how bad it was,” said Twickenham Church of Christ Director of Disaster Relief David Maurel. “Then we started getting more news reports and then we realized there was a need for people from our area to go down and help.”
Members from both the Rock Family Worship Center and the Twickenham Church of Christ are heading to Clay this weekend to help with disaster relief efforts.
The first response trailers will also be making the trip for their first out-of-town assignment since their creating following the April storms.
“There was such a need back on April 27th disasters,” said Maurel, “just an overwhelming effort to get all the clean-up and activity done. So what we decided to do was get a coalition of churches together and everyone contribute.”
The mobile disaster units are equipped with all the necessary tools to help clean up debris after a tornado including rakes, ladders, chainsaw and a hydraulic chainsaw sharpener.
The trailers were initially created to help residents in Madison County, but as long as helping hands are available, the churches will take them where ever they’re needed.
“It just depends on our volunteer base,” said Greg Nelson, Director for Disaster Relief at the Rock Family Worship Center. “We don’t care, we’ll take these things anywhere we need to carry them. They’re absolutely for Madison County and North Alabama, but anywhere we can get a volunteer base and go, we’ll go.”
The mobile disaster units are now becoming a valuable tool that were created from an unforgettable day.
“We caught ourselves in a bad position that day and we weren’t as prepared as we needed to be,” said Nelson. “We didn’t have the resources we needed to do a sufficient job and that’s what inspired this. We just wanted to be as good as we could be. And I tell you what, it’s getting there.”
The first wave of volunteers left Friday morning to take the units to Jefferson County.
Another group will head back down to Clay on Saturday, January 28.
There are currently ten different church-owned first response trailers throughout Madison County.
The churches hope to add portable kitchen trailers, shower houses and laundry units to their disaster relief arsenal.
If you would like to volunteer or donate money to the efforts, you can contact Greg Nelson at the Rock Family Worship Center at 256-533-9292.