Alabama group helps communities bounce back from severe storms
Thursday, September 21, 2023
In rural Alabama, where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant threat, communities often struggle with damage and limited resources for extended periods.
The nonprofit Hometown Organizing Project is stepping in to help. Through their Climate Protection Canvass initiative, they are forming teams to support communities during severe storms.
Messiah William-Cole, mayor of Camp Hill, said rural communities rely on outside funding for storm recovery help. The support is crucial in his own community, which is still recovering from unprecedented flooding and damage caused by a hailstorm six months ago.
"All homes in our municipality's jurisdiction took damage, roofs were damaged," William-Cole recounted. "When we did a damage assessment 76 % of our towns cars were damaged. "
The Climate Protection Canvass will help communities in Colbert, Coosa, Dallas, Tallapoosa, and Walker counties. Organizers said it is a long-term, four-phase project, which will take place over two to three years. It includes story sharing, a community road tour, political education training, and the development of community protection teams.
Environmental Protection Agency data project Alabama will see warmer weather and more severe flooding and drought.
Michaela Lovegood, executive director of the Political Healers Project, will work with the Hometown Organizing Project on the canvass. She said weather pattern changes are a global problem, and stressed the need for long-term commitment to mobilize communities to take the lead in climate protection.
"The importance that we are putting here is that we are trying to create climate protection where local communities have the training development and the support in order to be able to create the kind of response, recovery work and plan they need," Lovegood outlined.
NOAA has recorded 15 weather-related disasters in 2023, each causing at least $1 billion in damage.
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