May 6, 2010 -- As the waters recede in storm-ravaged Tennessee and Mississippi, IAFF members who have been responding non-stop to related emergency calls are now beginning to assess damage to their own homes. At least 26 member fire fighter homes – 20 of them from Nashville Local 140 – have some level of damage.
“IAFF leaders are on the ground in the devastated areas, assessing member needs,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “The International is prepared to provide financial and other types of assistance – large or small.”
“I have been in close contact with all of our affected locals and providing IAFF Disaster Relief Fund applications,” says IAFF 14th District Vice President Danny Todd. “Other membership needs are still being evaluated.”
IAFF members can donate to the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund to help members suffering from financial hardship as a result of these floods.
News reports indicate that as many as 31 people have been killed by either floodwaters or tornadoes. But, fire fighters and other rescue personnel have rescued hundreds from their flooded homes by boat and canoe.
The severity of the storms caught everyone off guard. More than 13.5 inches of rainfall were recorded May 1-2, according to the National Weather Service, making for a new two-day record that doubled the previous mark.
The water swelled most of the area's lakes, minor rivers, creeks, streams and drainage systems far beyond capacity. It flowed with such force that bridges were washed out and thousands of homes were damaged.
President Barack Obama has declared more than 20 Tennessee counties federal disaster areas.
Relief donations can also be made through BLEVE Entertainment Group, LLC, which continues to work to raise money for the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund from sales of a new country music CD.