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Responding to Tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia

ec552177fe41151e4c2d44910cc35aa9 Supporting Response to the Tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia

Web Statement

March 22, 2019

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama as it responds to a series of tornadoes that devastated eastern Alabama in early March.

On March 3, 2019, a series of tornadoes struck the southeastern United States. The strongest of these, an EF4 tornado, tore through Lee County, AL, destroying the unincorporated community of Beauregard, impacting the town of Smith Station and damaging structures in its 65 mile long, one mile wide path. The tornadoes killed 23 people and injured at least 93 more, making it the deadliest since an EF5 tornado touched down in Moore, OK in 2013. 170 homes were completely destroyed and hundreds more sustained damage from the winds that reached over 166 miles per hour.

With support from Episcopal Relief & Development, the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama responded immediately to the crisis through a community dinner for first responders at the Smiths Station Fire Department on March 5. Six Episcopal Churches in the Lee County area worked together to provide 1,600 sack lunches for first responders and volunteers in the subsequent days. Churches also offered clergy to help with pastoral, spiritual and mental health care. Additionally, the diocese is distributing gift cards for food, construction supplies and other emergency household goods to help impacted members of the community. 

“The diocese’s past experience with disaster relief and advance preparation allowed them to respond quickly to the tornadoes,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director, US Disaster Programs for Episcopal Relief & Development. “We will continue to support their efforts in the coming months as they help the community recover.”

Please continue to pray for those impacted. Donations to the US Disaster Response Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development continue to respond. To support local diocesan responses to emergencies, visit Ready to Serve and sign up to become a volunteer on Episcopal Relief & Development’s volunteer platform.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Photo: Episcopal Diocese of Alabama


ec552177fe41151e4c2d44910cc35aa9 Responding to Tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia

Web Statement

March 5, 2019

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama as it coordinates a response to a series of tornadoes that devastated eastern Alabama earlier this week.

An EF-4 tornado with winds estimated at 170 miles per hour struck Lee County and surrounding areas on Sunday, March 3. It destroyed homes and property and killing 23 people as of Tuesday afternoon, making it the nation’s deadliest tornado in nearly six years. More than 90 people have been treated for injuries at nearby hospitals. Two EF-1 tornadoes struck nearby areas causing additional destruction.

The US Disaster team is in contact with the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Smith Station as they coordinate a response to the tornadoes. Episcopal Relief & Development is also in contact with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia as they assess the needs in their community.

“Disasters have three phases: Rescue, Relief and Recovery,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director, US Disaster Program for Episcopal Relief & Development. “Right now the disaster response is moving from the initial Rescue phase, where first responders such as police and fire department are focusing on saving lives, into the Relief phase. In the coming weeks and months, we will work with the Diocese of Alabama to provide relief and help communities recover.”

Please pray for those impacted by the tornadoes. If you would like to help dioceses to respond by becoming a volunteer, visit Ready to Serve, Episcopal Relief & Development’s volunteer platform to sign up.  Donations to the US Disaster Response Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development respond to this crisis.

“We are standing ready to offer assistance as the local Church assesses needs and identifies areas where it can best help impacted people in this difficult time,” said Mears.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.