Man helps storm-ravaged South
by Bob Grawey
Just a few short weeks after the devastating tornadoes ripped through the South between April 25 and 28, one of Rogers’ own is heading out to help.
Rogers resident John Blood left Thursday, May 5 to help out with emergency recovery efforts in Alabama.
Blood is a senior planner with the State Department of Public Safety: Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management. He is responding to a request for help through the nation’s Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
This compact is in place nationwide in case of natural disasters such as the April tornadoes. If the governor of a state declares a major disaster, the state can then call other states for assistance in emergency management help.
Blood is in Clanton, Ala., the emergency response center for Alabama, just south and east of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.
Alabama was the hardest hit of at least seven states in the second deadliest tornadic outbreak since records have been kept on such storms in the United States.
More than 340 people are known dead so far, 250 in Alabama alone as of May 1.
Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management media spokesperson Julie Anderson says the Alabama Emergency Management Agency is still assessing loss of life, how many have been injured and how many people have been made homeless from the deadly storms.
Going into the heart of the worst of the devastation, Blood will direct and coordinate help in the disaster response for nine days.
The Rogers man has worked for Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management the past two years and has a long background in disaster recovery.
“When you know you can help relieve some anxiety and frustration for disaster victims,” Blood says, “it is a good thing to do.”
For those who wish to donate to the tornado relief effort, go to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.