Clovis Agencies Better Prepared for Disaster - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Clovis Agencies Better Prepared for Disaster

"In times of disaster people realize the need to volunteer and be part of an organization that works solely off of volunteers, so that's when it triggers," says Nicole Thompson "In times of disaster people realize the need to volunteer and be part of an organization that works solely off of volunteers, so that's when it triggers," says Nicole Thompson
"I went over and opened up the building and since we're in a poorer neighborhood people were looking for a place to go that was safe," says Steve Reshetar "I went over and opened up the building and since we're in a poorer neighborhood people were looking for a place to go that was safe," says Steve Reshetar
"All of that infrastructure was already in place in the community for people working together so it was just natural to jump across and do the disaster recovery from the tornado," says Lance Clemmons "All of that infrastructure was already in place in the community for people working together so it was just natural to jump across and do the disaster recovery from the tornado," says Lance Clemmons

It tore through their community on March 23rd, killing one person and destroying hundreds of homes. Today, Clovis is looking at what they learned from the tornado. NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg explains how emergency response will be better if there's another disaster.

Recovering from the tornado was a challenge for the Clovis community, because it was the first natural disaster anyone could remember. Now that they've been through the storm, they feel ready for anything.

"In times of disaster people realize the need to volunteer and be part of an organization that works solely off of volunteers, so that's when it triggers," says Nicole Thompson, with the Red Cross.

It surely caught on in Curry and Roosevelt counties where there are now triple the number of trained red cross volunteers than there were before the tornado. And more people are asking about it daily.

"We're able to respond better and make sure we are evenly dispersed across the board. I think that was the best thing we gained from this disaster" says Thompson.

The Matt 25 Hope Center, a faith-based group, realized the safe haven right in their basement.

"I went over and opened up the building and since we're in a poorer neighborhood people were looking for a place to go that was safe," says Steve Reshetar, with the Matt 25 group.

They realized the night of the storm, that it can be used as a tornado shelter for hundreds of people.

"People driving by and we were waving them in, they were saying do you have a basement and we were like yeah, we have one, come on in," says Reshetar. "We had never delved into that idea at all and now this makes us think where do we fit in this and how do we help in the community it was a good learning experience for us," he says.

The Eastern New Mexico Disaster Security Council attributes the successful recovery to a united community following 'Operation Keep Cannon'.

"All of that infrastructure was already in place in the community for people working together so it was just natural to jump across and do the disaster recovery from the tornado," says Lance Clemmons, who heads up the Council.

The Matt 25 Hope Center is the only tornado shelter in Clovis that's open to the public. They welcome anyone who needs shelter in a storm to drop by 1200 Thorton.

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