Volunteers needed to help Alabama storm victims May 7-8

Members of the Vanderbilt community are invited to help Alabama storm victims May 7-8.

With storm damage assessments completed, approximately 1,850 volunteers are needed to assist residents of the most severely damaged areas.  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are working with the citizens of Middle Tennessee and Kentucky to provide volunteer workers.

Work crews will assemble at 4:30 a.m. May 7 at 107 Twin Hills Drive, Madison, Tenn., and in other designated locations in Nashville and Franklin, Tenn., and Bowling Green, Ky. Volunteers will need their own transportation or with prior arrangement, may be able to carpool with other volunteers. Email MormonHelpingHands@att.net or call Dean Johnson at (615) 830-0441 to make travel arrangements.

Travel time to the work sites in Sipsey, Ala., is estimated at three hours. When volunteers arrive at the work areas in Alabama, they will be given “work orders” to assist specific families and property owners in the area.

All volunteers will need to bring work gloves and sturdy shoes. The weather forecast in Alabama is for mostly sunny with temperatures in the 80s.  Because of the nature of the cleanup work, long pants and long sleeves are preferable. If you haven’t had a tetanus shot lately you should consider getting one before you go.

This is a two-day work assignment and most volunteers will stay overnight Saturday and return Sunday evening. Camp site locations have been identified in the work areas for volunteers who will bring their own tents and sleeping bags.  For members of the Vanderbilt community, the Outdoor Recreation Program has tents, sleeping bags, and outdoor cooking equipment for rent. The Outdoor Recreation Office will provide a free sleeping bag and sleeping pad to the first 50 volunteers who come to their office between noon and 6 p.m. May 6.

The only accommodations that will be provided in Alabama will be portable toilets in the work areas.  Volunteers should plan to be self-sufficient for all other needs.  Bringing your own food and water will be important as many areas are still without power and restaurants and grocery stores are not open for business.

The most useful tools you can bring will be a strong back, a willing heart and helping hands.   Chainsaws, wheelbarrows, ladders, shovels, and rakes will also be helpful.

Contact: Dean L. Johnson, Office of the Dean of Students, (615) 830-0441