To effectively manage an emergency situation, the entire community is needed. While there are many groups, churches, and agencies that come into play after disaster event, Tuscaloosa County EMA partners with a few local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) to meet the needs of those effected by disasters across the county. Each of these groups also accepts and trains volunteers to be ready to serve when the unexpected happens.
Amateur Radio Communications
Amateur (Ham) Radio Operators throughout West Alabama provide a vital communications tool in times of emergencies. The hobby of Ham Radio emphasizes many different aspects of communications, including but not limited to providing supplemental emergency communications to served agencies. Most notable during times of severe weather, trained storm spotters, who are also Ham radio operators provide ground truth from all corners of the county.
The primary frequencies to listen to storm spotter communications are: 146.8200 Mhz, 147.300 Mhz, and 146.9250 Mhz.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is a network of generous donors, volunteers and employees that provide compassionate care to those in need.
Emergency response vehicles will be deployed to provide food, relief supplies, information and comfort to any victims of a disaster. For victims and/or those displaced by the storms, the Red Cross will provide temporary housing, primarily via community shelters. Support will also be provided if there is an evacuation in the area.
The Red Cross will also offer canteens of food and water for first responders and disaster relief workers.
The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.
The Compassion Coalition is a multifaith organization that works with the Tuscaloosa County EMA and the Tuscaloosa County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to meet the needs of those following a disaster. The coalition provides volunteers in churches and faith-based organizations that have teams and resources available to help. Assistance provided may include the urgent emergency needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter for victims.
To register as a volunteer, or submit a request for post-disaster aid, please visit TuscaloosaNeeds.com.
Phone: Dial 211 for assistance requests
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian ministry that builds and renovates homes for those who are left homeless due to poverty, natural disasters, ;war and civil unrest, etc. to help families recover.
After the April 2011 tornado, Habitat partnered with several organizations, including FEMA and Major League Baseball to build new homes for four different families in Alberta area of Tuscaloosa.
The Salvation Army is an organization affiliated with the Christian Church that rebuilds broken homes and broken lives around the world. It plays a big role in disaster relief, while doing a large number of other things like fighting hunger and poverty, operating youth camps for low- and moderate-income families and celebrating Christmas with those in need.
When a disaster occurs, Salvation Army representatives will travel to the area to fulfill the urgent needs and help the impacted area return to its normal state. A mobile kitchen will be set up to cook and serve hot meals and cold drinks to disaster survivors and emergency personnel.
Shelter and health care services will also be provided. Donations are also collected at various stores and housed in warehouses and distribution centers specifically for disaster victims. During a catastrophic event, representatives from the Salvation Army will stay for long periods of time to help cleanup and rebuild until the community is fully rebuilt.
A new facility is now open at the corner of Greensboro Avenue and 29th Street, just steps away from the old facility that was swept away by the tornado on April 27, 2011. The facility serves as the homeless and community tornado shelter, and will include a social services department, three wings of dormitories and five family apartments.
Temporary Emergency Services
Temporary Emergency Services (TES) is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to individuals and families experiencing a crisis situation in order to allow its clients to survive the immediate crisis they are encountering. These situations include, but are not limited to:
- Losing all belongings in a fire, tornado, etc.
- Need life-supporting medications
- Need assistance with food for those eligible for food stamps until application is filled out
TES is funded by the United Way, and local businesses, churches and individuals.
Tuscaloosa County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)
Tuscaloosa County VOAD is an association of different local organizations whose mission is to evaluate and analyze the most efficient way to deliver supplies and service to an area affected by a disaster. The association meets about once every three months at different venues across the county.
Its members include the American Red Cross, Compassion Coalition of Tuscaloosa County, Temporary Emergency Services, and many others. David Hartin of the Tuscaloosa County EMA serves as a director on the TCVOAD Executive Board.
United Way of West Alabama
The United Way of West Alabama is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to improve the quality of life of West Alabama citizens by focusing on three areas — education, financial stability and health.
On June 3, 2011, the organization held the Roll Tide Relief Benefit Concert, in which 50 local bands played at five Tuscaloosa venues over a period of 12 hours. All proceeds from the event went to benefit the victims affected by the April 27, 2011, tornado.
West Alabama Regional Commission (WARC)
The West Alabama Regional Commission is an organization that focuses on increasing the quality of life for the elderly and disabled in the West Alabama region through service, support, and advocacy.
The scope of the commission’s work includes economic and community development, transportation planning, nutrition and assistance programs for the elderly, a part-time employment program for low income senior citizens, technical assistance, tourism promotion, and public information.
Tuscaloosa County EMA also works with several other non-governmental organizations.