Between the late evening of Monday, March 2, and the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 3, multiple tornadoes measuring EF3 (between 155 and 165 mph) and EF4 (175 mph) touched down in Putnam County and areas of Nashville. At least 24 deaths are confirmed, including young children, with additional injuries exceeding 150 people, and over 140 collapsed buildings.
NECHAMA’s Disaster Response Team arrived in Tennessee and has begun ground assessments to determine how we best can be of assistance. We have been fortunate to once again assist Footprint Project in mobilizing their solar energy assets to the impacted area. Some communities are still without power, and these assets allow those impacted to charge phones and computers.
NECHAMA concluded our assessment period in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, and returned to Minnesota. Our decision to decrease our assessment period to 11 days was in part due to the CDC guidelines for COVID-19, making sure to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, and homeowners.
We used the assessment period to establish contact with local authorities, address immediate needs, provide services where possible, and determine the feasibility of a more extended program. We will take this time to reassess the needs of the communities we visited, ascertain the best utilization of time and resources, and decide the appropriate actions for the near future.
During our time in Tennessee, we were able to support nine families and a small family owned business – utilizing 113 NECHAMA volunteer hours. In addition to chainsaw work and removing downed trees and branches, we were also able to work with Footprint project with delivering and installing solar trailers to affected communities. Working alongside our disaster partners we also completed minor demolition work, and debris cleanup.
This work is not possible without our partnerships and the generous donations of our NECHAMA community. Please consider a gift today to continue our legacy of providing a lending hand to people affected by natural disasters.
At this time we are not requesting or able to accommodate volunteers. Once the assessment is complete we will be able to determine our capacity around this and make further announcements. If you are interested in deploying with us, please fill out the interest form.