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PDA responding to tornadoes and storms
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) continues to reach out to communities affected by recent tornadoes and storms. One Great Hour of Sharing and designated funds have been provided, and members of the National Response Team (NRT) have gone to affected areas to help Presbyterian leadership as they determine how best to meet the needs of their communities. PDA assistance includes spiritual and emotional care, help with needs assessments, work in forming long-term recovery committees, and evaluating possible sites to host volunteer work teams.
Tornadoes and dangerous storms began early this year and have already claimed the lives of more than 60 people. The first major tornado outbreak occurred in January, when a spring-like system moved across the southern Mississippi valley, producing at least two dozen tornadoes across Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. In February, a powerful storm system spawning multiple tornadoes moved through the Midwest down to southern parts of the United States, causing the destruction of hundreds of homes in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. In early March, a comparable system moved through several states, including Illinois and Ohio, and caused significant damage in Indiana and Kentucky.
In April, the month normally seen as the beginning of tornado season, a tornado tore through parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area, and most recently tornadoes again struck the states of Kansas and Nebraska.
Tornado season usually runs from April through mid-June, with the most tornadoes normally occurring in May. Let us be mindful and pray for communities that have already experienced tornadoes and those that may experience one in the future.
How you can help
You can stand in the “GAP” for disaster survivors and help the church in this response.
- Possible future volunteer opportunities: Email the PDA Call Center for information, or call (866) 732-6121 to let us know your team is interested in volunteering to help with recovery and rebuilding efforts. The Call Center manager will then be able to contact you when needs are defined and hosting sites are ready for outside volunteers. Details of PDA hospitality sites will be shared on the web site. You may also register your team’s interest online, including details of skills your team has to offer and possible dates you would like to discuss.
- Prepare Gift of the Heart Kits. When widespread disasters occur, there is usually a need to replenish the supply to ensure a sufficient quantity for future disaster situations. Learn more about hygiene kits, baby kits, school kits and clean up buckets, or download a bulletin insert to share with your congregation or group.
- Sign up to receive PDA RIN (Rapid Information Network) emails to be aware of current responses and urgent needs you can share with your congregation.
Pray: Our best response is prayer. Please continue in prayer for all who have been impacted by the tornadoes and storms, including congregations, families, and those offering assistance. See Prayers in Times of Trouble and Disaster.