Emergency Response Teams provide help and assurance in aftermath of storms


    There is often general confusion and disorder in the aftermath of tornadoes and other severe storms.
    What is the extent of the damage? Where is help most urgently needed? Which victims lack adequate insurance? What is the most effective deployment of volunteers?
    But through all the anxiety and uncertainly is one common note of assurance: Regardless of how long clean-up and rebuilding efforts take, North Georgia Emergency Response Teams will persevere until the final shingle has been nailed into place.
    “We are very fortunate in the North Georgia Conference,” said Rev. Thom Shores, chairman of Conference Disaster Response. “We have a good retention rate with our volunteers and a great willingness to help.”
    Shores believes it will take at least a year to complete rebuilding efforts from the recent winter tornadoes in Bartow and Gordon counties. Training was recently held for people willing to serve as case managers, who help homeowners who lack the finances to repair their homes.
      Nearly 400 homes were damaged by the storms. 
     “This was not declared a federal disaster so FEMA is not involved,” Shores said. “There will not be any federal funds to help. We will be seeking donations and resources wherever we can find them.”
       Shores expresses his gratitude to all of the Emergency Response Teams that responded to the initial cleanup. A tremendous amount of work has been accomplished in a relatively short amount of time.
    Bartow County is now in the rebuilding stage and needs volunteer groups to assist with this effort. Groups or individuals should call the Church of God in
Adairsville, which is still acting as the volunteer reception center, at 770-773-3264.
       There also are requests for food and financial help for those displaced by the storm.
       Food supplies can be taken directly to the Church of God in Adairsville or if transportation is needed, call Shores at 770-949-2555. Financial gifts can be made to North Georgia Conference Disaster Response efforts by placing a check in any North Georgia United Methodist Church offering plate with "Winter 2013 Tornados" in the memo line.
      Checks can also be mailed to Conference Treasurer's Office, PO Box 102417, Atlanta, GA 30368-2417 with "Winter 2013 Tornadoes" in the memo line.