Summarized by 'Stephen Harvard Sr.'
Panama City Florida Stake & Red Cross Assist Tornado Victims
(Central Panhandle Chapter Tornado Event 2/13)
Jim Buckley 14Feb00 D1
Bay and Washington Counties experienced a series of tornadoes the
evening of February 13, 2000. The Central Panhandle Chapter responded
to a request for emergency services within one hour. The On-duty DAT
team responded first to the on-scene command post in Bay County on
Highway 77 north of Southport. Within two hours a fully loaded and
staffed ERV arrived on scene at the Gulf Coast Electric COOP. Over 18
Red Cross volunteers with Mass Care, Family Service, Damage Assessment,
Disaster Mental Health, and Logistic skills reported to the Chapter or
to the command post.
This disaster was the first operational test of our Community Disaster
Action Partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Church members rapidly responded to the call for help and arrived fully
trained and motivated to serve their community. Volunteers remained
with the ERV all night, then returned to conduct preliminary damage
assessment Monday morning.
Ongoing communication with the Washington County EOC indicated the
possibility of severe damage in that county. By early Monday afternoon,
a damage assessment team arrived in Southeast Washington County to
survey the damage.
Fortunately, reports of tornado activity in Jackson County did not
result in any reports of damage in that county. Information was
exchanged among Jackson County Emergency Management, our ARC Liaison in
Jackson County, branch volunteers, and the Central Panhandle
Mutual Aid with Capital Area Chapter for possible deployment of a mobile
kitchen and damage assessment staff was exercised. Although the need
for the mobile kitchen was not realized, the mechanism to receive mutual
aid proved very successful. This was particularly noteworthy in light
of Capital Area's own vulnerability to the same tornadic weather system
and their ultimate deployment of volunteers and equipment to neighboring
chapters in Georgia.
Bay County businesses contributing to the local disaster relief with
in-kind or reduced cost items included Albertson Grocery, Krispy Kreme
Doughnuts, Sunny 98.5 Radio, and perennial partner, Sam's Club.
Favorable news stories on the ARC response and volunteerism were noted
on both local television stations and several radio stations. ABC
affiliate, Channel 13, conducted live interviews with ARC disaster
volunteers both Sunday night and during their early morning News Show on
The local disaster relief operation continues this afternoon with Mass
Care, Family Service, Disaster Mental Health and Damage Assessment
operations in Bay and Washington counties.
Director of Emergency Services
Central Panhandle Chapter
This is a copy of the SITREP.
The member are from the Panama City Florida Stake, Lynn Haven Ward. We
have 30 members trained as Shelter Managers, Damage Assessment Teams,
ERV Operators and Mass Care Workers.
Stephen Harvard Sr
Regional ERRS Specialist