Tornado Hits Home Of Local Disaster Relief Leader

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ATHENS, Ala.(WHNT)-The head of a local disaster relief network now finds himself on the other side of the coin after his home took a direct hit from Monday’s tornado in Limestone County.

Prepare and Respond, better known as PAR, is a volunteer network of more than a dozen Madison County churches that has become known for its large relief trailers scattered across north Alabama. But PAR Director Greg Nelson may now need help from his fellow volunteers after his home on Blackburn Road suffered substantial damage from a tree that fell into the middle of his house.

“I think it hit home how people really feel when they get affected by a storm,” said Nelson. “We work with them all the time, but when your home gets hit, it’s a totally different experience.”

Nelson and his wife rode out the twister at his brother-in-law’s storm cellar just down the street. Once the tornado passed they returned to find their home in ruins. It was a surreal scene for the PAR director, who has cleared wreckage at several disaster sites and urged the public to prepare for power outages just 24 hours earlier.

“I plugged in my generator and we’re gonna ride this thing out just like everybody else gets to do,” said Nelson. “This is life man, things happen. I enjoy the stuff, but the stuff comes and goes. The Lord is forever.”

Nelson has yet to decide if he’ll rebuild on his property.

PAR was formed by a coalition of churches during the aftermath of the April 27th, 2011 tornadoes. The group has since deployed to major disasters in Alabama, Oklahoma, the Gulf Coast and Mid-Atlantic region.

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