DALLAS - North Texans are helping victims of this weekend's tornado outbreak in Kentucky and other states.
Some local organizations are planning to send teams out to impacted states to help with recovery efforts.
Texas Baptist Men (TBM), which consists of 5,000 volunteers across the state, just got word its first batch of volunteers will be leaving in 48 hours, heading to five different areas in Kentucky.
The first team to go will be 50 to 60 volunteers loaded up with chainsaws to help clear debris.
TBM responds to disasters all over the country, and its volunteers have been asking to go as soon as the tornadoes hit.
Organizers have been on the phone all weekend assessing where teams need to go.
On Monday, volunteers will start gathering tarps and roofing materials for the trip.
A refrigeration truck could leave as early as Monday morning so meals will be ready to go once the volunteers arrive after their nine-hour drive from Dallas.
"The assessment can start right away, but once we come in, it’s best if the search and rescue has been completed. That way, there isn’t an influx all at one time. So we work hand-in-hand with FEMA on what is going on and who is coming and going so we can coordinate this whole effort of disaster recovery and relief," said Rand Jenkins, director of ministry advancement for TBM. "To emotionally and spiritually go through this in the Christmas season, it really hits hard."
Bowling Green, Kentucky, residents look at the damage following a tornado that struck the area on December 11, 2021. (Photo by Gunnar Word / AFP)
Over the next week or so, more crews will be dispatched to the Midwest, including more chainsaw equipment and feeding units where volunteers can feed tens of thousands of people, along with shower and laundry units.
It’s not yet known how long these volunteers will stay in the Midwest.
TBM is part of the long-term recovery, so volunteers could be there in Kentucky for two to six weeks, which includes the entire holiday season.
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