I'm sure most of you are aware of the F4 tornado that plowed through the South on April 27, 2011. Hubby went down on Thursday with a car full of supplies to check on all of our friends and family (the in-laws live near Tuscaloosa). I am pleased to report that everyone is accounted for, including Deviouslyvivid, who lives in the path of the storm. None of our friends or family suffered more than minor injuries, but some have extensive property damage.
Hubby’s report is bleak, and the pictures you see on the internet don't do it justice. There are entire neighborhoods that have been disintegrated into nothing more than piles of rubble. On top of that, relief efforts immediately after the tornado and for the first couple of days following were disjointed, ill-organized, and chaotic. It didn't help that the Emergency Operations Center and the back-up site were both destroyed in the tornado, but even taking that into consideration, the difference between emergency response here in Nashville with the floods last year and the response in Tuscaloosa is like night and day. Communication, or the lack thereof, was a real problem; a site for a distribution center would be announced on the radio for a couple of hours, yet when he arrived at the location, there would be no one there, for example. But, by the time he left to come home, efforts were getting organized and systematic.
Of course, there are those who try to profit from individuals in desperate situations. We attempted to purchase a generator before he left. When he called round to the stores at 11am, each had about 20-30 on the shelves. By the time I got home from work and we went to get one at 3pm, they were all sold out, and we were hearing reports of people on the south side of Huntsville on the side of road selling the generators from double what they paid. It disgusts me.
Later, we found out that the area manager of Lowes had pulled all the generators and put them on a truck to send to the disaster area. I have to applaud him for that regardless of his motives. Way to pull the rug out from under the feet of the greedy bastards!
It is a big mess down there. Please keep those folks in your thoughts and prayers as they being the laborious process of rebuilding. And if you are able and feel so inclined, please donate.