The couple is representing World Renew DRS to coordinate with other responders and government officials in the aftermath of severe weather outbreak that damaged or destroyed the small village of Fairdale and covered six counties in Illinois, killing two and injuring a dozen more on Thursday night. The storms are moving northeast today, but with weakening ferocity.
"Based on reports from trained storm spotters and chasers as well as radar and environmental evidence, there were at the very least two tornadoes, but likely more across northcentral Illinois on April 9. At least two long-lived supercell thunderstorms produced these tornadoes, or family of tornadoes," National Weather Service reports said.
In these first hours after the storms, early response organizations and volunteers from the area surrounding the damage are meeting the need for assistance, the Grasmans report.
"Right now, there are plenty of local volunteers ready and willing to help and there are several organizations providing immediate assistance so additional outside help isn't needed at this point," says Pat Grasman. "It's been less than 24 hours since the tornado struck, and at this time it is very difficult to determine the full extent of damage or what help will be needed months down the road.”
The Grasmans are continuing to coordinate with local and state partners and letting them know the long-term services that World Renew DRS provides and is known for.
World Renew DRS responds to disasters at every stage of recovery and is committed to responding for months and years if needed. These services are always carried out in partnership with a local organization.
In the days after a disaster, World Renew DRS services include:
- providing spiritual care to survivors.
- networking with local officials and other organizations to ensure appropriate help is being provided.
- providing volunteers to help with debris removal, mucking out, etc.
In the weeks to months after a disaster, World Renew DRS services include:
- identifying vulnerable survivors who still need help, to ensure they do not fall through the cracks.
- providing reconstruction estimates.
- guiding and training local recovery groups in best practices in disaster recovery.
In the months to years after a disaster, World Renew DRS services include:
- providing reconstruction services for homeowners who need help rebuilding.
- continuing support to communities.
"Many people are surprised by how long it takes families to get their homes back after a disaster,” says World Renew DRS Director Ron Willett. “It can take months or years, depending on the number of homes that are affected, how quickly a local recovery group organized, the scope of damage, how much financial assistance or insurance is available, finding those who need help the most, and so much more.”
World Renew is accepting donations to respond to Spring Storms 2015 at www.worldrenew.net/springstorms2015, or call 800-552-7972 in the US and at 800-730-3490 in Canada. Financial gifts to World Renew DRS Spring Storms 2015 will provide these services when they are needed and when communities like Fairdale, Illinois, are ready.
For those who would like to volunteer, there are enough local volunteers to help with clean-up in Illinois at this time. But it is not uncommon for World Renew to be asked weeks after a disaster to send volunteers to help with needed clean-up, repair, and reconstruction. If you are interested in helping disaster survivors with World Renew DRS, please contact email@example.com.
To arrange an interview with World Renew DRS volunteers or staff, contact Kristen Vanderberg at 800-730-3490 or Kellie Scholma at 800-848-5818.
PHOTO TOP: A woman holds her belongings after searching through the debris of a home that was destroyed by a tornado in Rochelle, Illinois April 10, 2015. Two people were killed in the powerful storm that left a path of destruction from Rochelle to Fairdale, Illinois. REUTERS/Joshua Lott