So today, multiple tornadoes swept across North Alabama, including Huntsville where I live. I’m a journalist, so I covered the storms in a town north of us, Arab. It was complete and total devastation. Emergency officials reported six people killed about half a mile away from where I was sent to report. Arab was hit twice Wednesday, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. An entire mobile home park was destroyed. In Huntsville, we’ve confirmed two deaths related to the storms. Across the river, a hospital in Cullman was hit and severely damaged.
It’s estimated that 35 people have been killed throughout the Southeast as storms spanned several states. As I type, my parents in Tennessee are under a tornado warning. I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life.
My power at my apartment went out sometime this afternoon, and our local utilities department expects it to be out for several days. Most of Huntsville is without power in fact. I’ve never been in this situation before. One of my best qualities as a journalist is my crisis, boots-on-the-ground reporting. But I’ve never been the story. And now I am. As a diabetic, I have bionic parts that need to be charged. I have insulin and food that need to be refrigerated. There are no restaurants open, no grocery stores and no pharmacies. I’m not sure what exactly to do, but I know I have resources. And I plan to use them to help others.
Through my advocacy with Hot Shots and JDRF, I know dozens of other families throughout Huntsville who are in the same boat as me. This is an absolute disaster of epic proportions — on so many levels.
So here is my call to those who follow my blog. Can anyone offer suggestions on how to get by without power for several days? Also, if others can share the word, I have some extra diabetic supplies in case of any emergencies, and I know our local Red Cross office will be on hand to help with any medications people may have a problem with.
I’m also putting out a call to the DOC. If there is anyone who has extra supplies lying around that aren’t expired and are still packaged, please send them my way, and I can make sure they make it to the proper places. Thank you for your thoughts and your prayers. Keep ’em coming!!