Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gratitude and Pride....

Well it has been 3 days since the devastating storms rolled through our area of northwest Alabama.  The death toll continues to rise.  Many people are missing.  No count yet on number of homes destroyed.  The National Guard is rolling in to give our 1st Responders some relief.  WHAT would we do without these brave men and women - the firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement officers, military - there is just NO way to express the gratitude and pride which I feel toward all of these individuals who risk their lives daily to keep us safe.  If you are in any of the above categories - whether active or retired - THANK YOU!!!!! 

I have a dear friend who is a Chief Investigator, and he told me this morning that he'd lost count of how many bodies he has personally seen in the last 3 days... He is such a great guy and it weighs so heavily on his heart and those of all the others.  Seeing families, children, elderly people who have lost their lives, having to "mark" the houses/debris piles.  Reporting their findings.  I cannot imagine having to do this, and yet he and all the others are doing it without complaint.  Again... no way to express the gratitude which I feel.

My son, E, is getting an emergency radio broadcast together.  The areas of Phil Campbell and Hackleburg, Alabama are still without electricity, etc, so no broadcasts are being made from there other than those being taped and carried back to the stations.  This area is just on the edge of major radio and TV coverage, so continuous coverage is difficult.  The emergency personnel are working with ONE satellite phone in each area right now. 

E has coordinated with a radio station in the next small town of Russellville to set up a remote vehicle in Phil Campbell to use to broadcast information for both the ER personnel and for victims.   They did not have the equipment or the "know how" to do this, but he does.  I am so proud of him for coming up with such a great idea! 

He could already be on the air if we had an RV for him to stay in.  We are searching for one and have some good leads, so we hope he is up and running by Tuesday at the latest.    Sure wish I had my rig already, and he would be down there doing what he could to help!   

*He just got word that the area they have reserved for him at the Rescue Squad building in Phil Campbell has RV hookups to run off of the huge generators they have in place!!  Great news!  We were going to try to find a source to donate/deliver gasoline for the generator and now we won't have to!!!*  Great news indeed!!!!!

Thank you all so much for the prayers I know are going out for all the storm victims.   Please continue to send them out, and if you are able to offer financial help, please do so.  Remember to specify that your contributions to the Red Cross or others be sent to the storm victims of the April 27th tornadoes!  Thanks so much!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prayers requested...

I am asking the wonderful RVing community for prayers for the people in my hometown area.  Although my little hometown of Bear Creek, Alabama suffered little damage, our neighbors in Hackleburg and Phil Campbell (5 miles from Bear Creek to the west and north, respectively) were hard hit during the storms which hit April 27th. 

There is very little media coverage of the devastation there - still no count on how many died in Hackleburg and it stands at 25 in Phil Campbell (population is only about 1,100).   The accounts which I've heard compare it to a war zone.   They have no electricity, no water, no cell phone coverage, nothing.  This area is very rural, and unemployment had already exacted a huge toll on the economy there.  I'm sure there were many without any insurance who have lost everything.   It is a tragedy of epic proportions.

I have not been able to go down there yet - we plan to make the first trip down on Saturday to see if we can help in any way.  Please mention the victims in northwest Alabama in your posts and send out prayer requests for the families devastated by this storm.  Thank you so much!

Kerri in AL