Disaster Response Update: Response to March 19 storms

April 24, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
10:30 a.m.

North Alabama Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Randy Burbank shares the following message regarding the response efforts in the Jacksonville area.

As many of you know, Calhoun County has been transitioning from the immediate response efforts related to the March 19th storms that devastated Jacksonville and the outlying communities, to long term recovery efforts. There were 531 homes in our area affected by the tornado, with 165 homes suffering major damage and 55 total losses.

At the moment, we have an urgent need for a group to assist us with initial assessment interviews/surveys to help us collect comprehensive information on where our residents are in their own recovery process. These initial assessments will become the case management files for our Long Term Recovery Committee. As you know, these assessments are vital to applying for additional grant funds from outside of our community, as well as to move forward in the process of prioritizing our residents for assistance with long term unmet needs.

Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity locally to get these assessments completed in a timely manner. We need HELP!

If there are any organized groups or teams that are willing to commit to our area for a certain time period to be help us get this important work done, our community would be incredibly grateful! Furthermore, if you have any contacts or ideas for help in this work, please feel free to pass those along to me.

Please contact:
Shannon Jenkins
256-236-8229 x112

Shannon Jenkins
President & CEO
United Way of East Central Alabama

Thursday, April 12, 2018
11:30 a.m.

We are still in need of volunteers to assist with the damage assessments in Jacksonville. Seventeen iPads are available that will have all the information that needs to be collected from the survivors of the March 19 storms.  Training for this new app will be Monday, April 16, 9 a.m. at the Calhoun County EMA Office located at 507 Francis Street in Jacksonville.

If you are available that week, or even for 3 or 4 days, please contact me today for more information.  If this app works as well as it seems, this will be shared with us for future disasters. 

Thanks for being the hands, feet and heart of Jesus for these survivors!

In His Grace,
Randy Burbank
Disaster Response Coordinator for the North Alabama Annual Conference
Email: rburbank@umcna.org


Wednesday, March 28, 2018
8 a.m.

New Procedures For Southside

Beginning Wednesday, March 28, 2018, the Volunteer Reception Center for the city of Southside will be located at Southside UMC 2438 Cedar Bend Road North, Southside, Alabama.  The earliest check-in should be at 8:30 a.m.  If at all possible, contact Rev. Carrie Jones ahead of time at 256-872-6758 so that work projects can be arranged.

The Etowah County EMA will be contacted daily for a list of survivors who need help.  All volunteers and teams will be deployed from Southside UMC.  Thank you Southside UMC!

At this time their community is in need of heavy equipment (bucket trucks, skid steers and other equipment capable of moving large trees).  In the coming weeks there will need for repairs and at least 29 rebuilds.

Teams are needed ASAP until further notice.

In His Grace,
Randy Burbank
Disaster Response Coordinator for the North Alabama Annual Conference
Email: rburbank@umcna.org


Tuesday, March 27, 2018
2 p.m.

Here are the latest updates from last week's disasters.

Cullman: Wrapping up tarping operations—no further assistance needed at this time.

Southside/Gadsden: Volunteers are needed for clean-up after the tornado. Contact Toney Campbell at 256-426-8163.

Jacksonville: (From Rev. Lyle Holland) We have opportunities for service in the Distribution Center at Jacksonville First UMC. Best estimate is that Jacksonville FUMC will house the center for at least two more weeks before it is transitioned to a long-term recovery center. There are roles for varying levels of ability and physicality, including receiving donations, inventory, and assisting people who come for supplies. Currently the center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Volunteers do not have to commit to a full day, but can come serve a few hours in the morning or afternoon. Pastors and/or volunteer leaders can email lyle.holland@umcna.org with day and time they would like to serve.

Other Ways to Help

Make a Financial Donation. Click "Donate Now" on the left.

Volunteer at the Disaster Response Warehouse in Decatur. Call 256-341-9961 to schedule your time.

Donate Needed Items. Based on current inventory, the Disaster Warehouse needs the following items:

  • tarps of all sizes
  • plastic cap nails
  • wood strips for securing tarps
  • tornado buckets

Assemble Tornado Buckets. Instructions are available at umdisasterwarehouse.com/tornado-bucket/.

Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus!

In His Grace,
Randy Burbank, North Alabama conference Disaster Response Coordinator

Thursday, March 22, 2018
1 p.m.

We continue to need volunteers in Cullman (tarping roofs) and Jacksonville (chainsaws and debris removal).

We are now beginning to receive requests from the Southside/Gadsden area. Contact the District Coordinator Toney Campbell at 256-426-8163 to register you or your team. Toney will tell you where to report and receive work assignments

We also need a record of teams and volunteers from our conference.  If you and/or a team have helped in any areas impacted by the most recent disaster, forward to me the following information:

  1. Number of people on the Team
  2. Area or areas you volunteered
  3. Number of hours served
  4. Type of work performed

Email this information to:  rburbank@umcna.org each day.  Thanks for being the hands and feet of Jesus.

In His Grace,
Randy Burbank
Disaster Response Coordinator for the North Alabama Annual Conference
Email: rburbank@umcna.org


Wednesday, March 21, 2018
9:30 a.m.

This is the latest update from Calhoun County EMA Office.  The initial report requested assistance, however now they are asking that Teams wishing to serve in the Jacksonville area hold off until Friday. The Volunteer Reception Center will still be at the Jacksonville Community Center located at 501 Alexandria Road SW, Jacksonville, AL 36265. To save time when assisting in Jacksonville, teams can go to their website: http://calhounema.org/?q=vrc to download the necessary forms.  Fill out the forms before you go to expedite the process of being deployed to help those impacted by this disaster.

Cullman continues to need help with tarping roofs.  Volunteers are to report to St. Andrews United Methodist Church located at 615 Main Avenue Southwest, Cullman, AL 35055.

In His Grace,
Randy Burbank
Disaster Response Coordinator for the North Alabama Annual Conference
Email: rburbank@umcna.org


Tuesday, March 20, 2018
10 a.m.

Storms stuck multiple areas in North Alabama last night. Damage is still being assessed. Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Randy Burbank has received word that the following two areas are now receiving volunteers to assist with the response effort.


Volunteers are needed in Cullman to help tarp roofs. The staging area / volunteer check-in location is St. Andrews United Methodist Church (615 Main Ave SW, Cullman, AL 35055; 256-734-0340).


The Jacksonville area is in need of chainsaw crews and clean up crews. The staging area / volunteer check-in location is the Jacksonville Community Center (501 Alexandria Rd SW, Jacksonville, AL 36265).

The Conference Disaster Response Team will issue additional updates as more needs are known and additional requests for volunteers are made.

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