Volunteer Group deploys volunteers to help people impacted by Hurricane Sally

Members of a Huntsville volunteer group called Prepare and Respond left early Friday morning to begin helping those along the Alabama coast impacted by Hurricane Sally.

Posted: Sep 18, 2020 5:15 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2020 5:48 PM

Members of a Huntsville volunteer group called Prepare and Respond left early Friday morning to begin helping those along the Alabama coast impacted by Hurricane Sally.

The crew's only been there a few hours, but they tell us the damage is much worse than expected.

Volunteers Friday's trip is to focus on assessing what kind of help people need. They're in Foley, Alabama today, where may people still are without power

"We didn't expect one to hit our home-state so soon after being in Louisiana," said volunteer, Danny Walker.

"We just got back from Hurricane Laura, so we are having to do maintenance on our equipment," said volunteer Ronald Jennings.

Prepare and Respond volunteers say once they get back from the assessment trip, they will focus on replacing equipment parts that were previously damaged when they responded to Hurricane Laura less than a month ago.

"Sharpening chains, servicing the skid steer," said Jennings.

Monday night, the group will make another trip, to help people impacted by Hurricane Sally.

"Ripping out the interior of homes. You have to remove all the dry-wall, all the flooring, everything down to the studs," said Jennings.

Jennings, says he expects to help repair homes that have been flooded.

"The goal is to leave the house where a contractor can go in later and just start rebuilding," said Jennings.

Volunteers say they are also finding out what safety precautions can be enforced the coast, before bringing a more people on the trip.

"We had to sort of restrict the size of our team because you can't cram as many people into a church when you're social distancing," said Jennings.

Even with a limited volunteer group, prepare and respond says it will do all it can to help.

"It breaks your heart to see people at their lowest. It's their worst day when you show up, but typically when you show up, that brings hope, and you start to see smiles again," said Jennings.

"We certainly want to help our neighbors," said Walker.

The group is collecting monetary donations to buy gift cards for families who have lost their belongings. To help, click here.

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