Increased Tornadic Activity Keeps Ohio DR Busy

Increased Tornadic Activity Keeps Ohio DR Busy

By John Heading, Ohio Disaster Relief director

According to the National Weather Service, Ohio leads the nation in tornadoes with 43 so far in 2024. This increase in tornadic activity has kept Ohio Disaster Relief (DR) busy. DR involvement in March and April led to133 direct contacts, 22 gospel conversations and four professions of faith.

New Albany – Chainsaw Crews - March
The tornado that hit this area occurred near the time that we conducted church training at Jersey Church, New Albany. The timing worked out well for teams to include newly trained volunteers in the day trip deployments. Teams of volunteers met in the parking lot of Jersey Church and went out to serve the local community. 

Lakeview at Indian Lake - QRU Feeding Unit – March  
An EF3 tornado struck the town of Lakeview near Indian Lake and destroyed a good part of the city. Logan County Emergency Manager Helen Norris called and asked us to deploy the Quick Response Feeding Unit (QRU). The QRU cooked hundreds of meals per day for walk-up feeding and provided meals to the American Red Cross for people who were unable to come pick up food.

Delaware County - Chainsaw Crews - March
The same round of tornados that hit Lakeview also hit Delaware County on a line from Stratford to Galena. We based daily recovery teams at FBC Westerville. The church provided a location to meet, as well as providing lunch for all the volunteers. 

Untrained volunteers from Lifepoint Church in Lewis Center came and worked alongside trained DR volunteers. Teams were able to clear debris and share the gospel with homeowners. A volunteer from Lifepoint went back to a home where DR served and dropped off a gift bag and an invitation to Easter service. 

Ironton - Full Deployment – April 
The storm that hit Ironton was a derecho--a system of straight line winds with speeds of 90 plus miles per hour. The storm knocked down trees and electric poles all over the area, so we organized a full deployment. Assessors went out in advance to survey the damage and secure work orders. Recovery teams, the feeding team, chaplains, and incident command deployed as well.

Sharon Baptist Church and Pastor Steve Harvey stepped up and eagerly opened their facility for us to use as a base of operation. The church also hosted DR in 2019 after an ice storm.

Shower Trailer Purchase - April
We are excited about the acquisition of a shower trailer in April. God’s provision made it possible to purchase a used 2021 four season shower trailer. The previous owner only used it twice. The shower trailer arrived in time for the Ironton deployment, and DR members enjoyed hot showers at the end of their workdays!