Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Alabama bound and not bound

Here are two of the vehicles in our Alabama convoy. We, 30 folks, expecting to be deployed on Monday May 2 to or near Tusculoosa, Alabama. We staged these two vehicles as well as another flat bed trailer with a ScatTrac (similar to a Bobcat) with front end attachments to move and pile trees. We had loaded up 120 gallons of drinking water, a portapotty, two generators, a small freezer, and many coolers to carry food. Our chainsaw trailer was ready to go as well as a large tent trailer with tables and chairs. We were staged and ready to go for a fully contained independent crew. The word came from above to hold fast and wait another day until details could be sorted out. Tuesday came and went as well as Wednesday. Thursday the word came that we were to stand down for now. Many factors went into the decision. It seems that because of all the TV coverage every man with a chainsaw that was any where close to the area piled into their vehicles and headed toward the area of concern. Search and rescue were still going on as they tried to find the missing people. Power had not be restored and home owners were not allowed into the areas of devastation yet. Our crew needs to have signed permission to work on tree removal before we can do the work for liability purposes.

We diverted back to a building project in Burlington Kansas that we originally had intended on doing electrical work on Monday May 9th after having to unload all the chainsaw stuff and reload these two trailers with electrical stuff. Upon arriving at Burlington Kansas to work on electrical for a new church multipurpose room, we found no roof yet. Ah, electric and rain water just don't mix. After spending a day trying to find some thing to do, I just returned home. So even though it was a disappointment, I am quite certain there will be great opportunity to serve in the coming months.

Thank you for your prayers. Even though it looked like they were not required, it could have been quite eventful if we had deployed and had the flood waters block our trip back home. So for now we will have to be vigilant in prayer for those that are struggling to survive through the tornado stricken areas and now the flood ravaged areas. I have received word that in the flood areas the rats and snakes are invading the living areas of the shelters to avoid the flood waters. Pray for those in these areas to be protected from all dangers known and unknown.

Thank you again for praying for our safety. I truly believe we were not in harms way because you prayed.


Anonymous said...

I live in Alabama and am curious: who/what agency told you to "stand down" and not enter our state to help in the relief efforts? We have had men, women and children from all over the country helping in the effort to provide relief to our state and have been a welcome sight for all who live here. It shocks me that anyone would tell you and your experienced group of men that you could not help if you wanted to. What agency were they a part of? Also, who did you have to have signed permission from in order to remove trees? Liability purposes? Liability of who? Not all of the trees were down on houses and buildings. Thousands upon thousands of trees were down in yards, pastures, fields, etc. and many I know would have jumped at the chance for anyone to help. Again, I'm just stunned and curious as to what person/agency told you all this.
Patrick in Alabama

David said...

Patrick, I'm so sorry that we were not able to get to Alabama. The organization that I am volunteer worker under is the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Organization. Although I'm not a Southern Baptist, they welcome me to be a part of their team. We do have groups that are first responders and our group has gone to help with the up front need of a situation but our group really is geared to bring continued support with the rebuilding effort in an area after the news media moves on to other things. The paperwork mentioned comes from the Baptist organization. One thing I like about this organization is that they are very organized, efficient, and dependable in their desire to help those in need.