Living in Alabama provides ample opportunity to gain working knowledge of tornadoes and volatile weather. Everyone here was affected in some way by yesterday’s storm system. Everyone here is still watching news coverage and waiting to see the full impact of the devastation. Tuscaloosa suffered extensive damage along with a confirmed fatality count that is still rising. Cullman had fairly extensive damage with the storm that came through in the early morning hours and then again with multiple tornado strikes. And several Birmingham communities are also facing complete devastation and lost loved ones. These cities are just the surface – there are smaller towns that were completely destroyed and others that are suffering damage and loss, and that’s only in Alabama. Across the southeast region today, people are picking up the pieces and trying to locate loved ones.
One of the biggest things you can do to help is to pray. Pray for the safety of the ongoing search and rescue operations as well as the safety of the emergency personnel and utility crews that will be working around the clock for days, maybe even weeks. Pray for the families that are facing loss – loss of loved ones and loss of property. Pray that those in need will get the help that they need to have a safe place to stay and food and clothing. If you feel led to do something more, please donate to the Red Cross or even the Alabama Baptist Association or another church group that is planning to assist in the recovery effort. It may sound strange to donate to a religious group, but they do an excellent job of mobilizing in situations like this – so much so that Governor Bentley in a phone interview last night mentioned “the Baptists” when he was listing out the emergency services that had already been deployed to begin the clean up and recovery effort.
Yesterday changed the lives of a lot of people who will be facing a long road through grief and rebuilding. Today they must begin the process, so keep them in yours prayers.