Below is an update from Tommy Deal, CBF U.S. Disaster Response Coordinator, on response plans following the devastating tornado that hit Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Sunday, February 10.
University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg is gearing up to help those affected by the tornado that ravaged their city on Sunday. Rusty Edwards, pastor of University Baptist Church, has been informed that local officials are now ready for the help of outside groups. Particular need is within poorer neighborhoods where resources are extremely limited.
Jim Kirkendall, CBF Mississippi Disaster Response Coordinator, will be returning to Hattiesburg early Friday, February 15, to help coordinate the beginning of CBF’s work. University Baptist Church is preparing to provide their facilities, as needed, to house and feed volunteers. CBF of Arkansas is sending its shower and equipment trailers to Hattiesburg.
Workers trained to operate chainsaws, bobcats and other heavy equipment are needed. Other workers are needed to help clean-up debris. There may be some need to tarp roofs. The city of Hattiesburg will direct volunteers according to skill levels to needed work-sites.
A work team from Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas is traveling to Hattiesburg on Friday. Kirkendall has been in contact with Volunteers of America of Mobile, Alabama, which is putting together teams as well.
Persons and groups who would like to assist should know that assistance is needed sooner than later. To coordinate the availability of a church to accommodate any individual or group of volunteers, please contact Jim Kirkendall (228-229-3331) or Rusty Edwards (601-520-9375).
CBF Disaster Response is accepting contributions for relief. Contributions will allow CBF Disaster Response Ministries to supply requested items and teams as needed. Contributions can be made online here.