Posted by: mobilitycloud | May 2, 2011

A Report from Tornado-Ravaged Area in Alabama


This message comes from a good friend and collegue, Tom Serio who manages BCP/DR for Verizon Wireless. Tom has written a heartfelt narrative that should remind us all how precious life is and what we can do to help the people out in the SE who were severely impacted by the storms last week. Thanks to Tom for sharing what he is experiencing and what his company is doing to help restore the lives out in that area.

From: Serio, Thomas []

Sent: Monday, May 02, 2011 12:27 AM

To: Serio, Thomas

Subject: Tornado Disaster


It’s late Sunday night, May 1 and I’m sitting in a hotel in Birmingham, AL.  I’m responding with the
Verizon Wireless Crisis Response Team to the tornado disaster that occurred this past Wednesday, from Mississippi to Kentucky and further.

Having supported our team throughout hard hit areas of Alabama and Mississippi, I can’t tell you how bad
the situation is here for those that have been impacted.  Whole communities have been wiped out. Towns line Hackleburg, AL and Smithville, MS no longer stands.  Neighborhoods have been fractured. Over 340 people have been lost.

Amongst the destruction and dire situation is something stronger; the human spirit. People here in the
heart of the Bible Belt have faith. People here give thanks while standing in the ruins of their homes. People here are resilient. And people, total strangers from near and far, have come to help their fellow human beings with
rummaging through the debris fields, picking up whatever they could find of their shattered lives. Strangers offer a cold bottle of water on a hot day. Strangers offer food. Strangers offer a shoulder to lean on. Strangers offer a smile.

This is a heart-wrenching situation. I have not seen this level or degree of destruction before, from
hurricanes or wildfires. Mother Nature has unleashed her fury on towns like Huntsville, Cullman, Pleasant Grove, Toney, Tuscaloosa, parts of Birmingham and many other towns and cities in Alabama and surrounding states like we have
never seen before on this magnitude. See the photos that are attached. A small sampling of the situation these folks are dealing with. Rebuilding will take years.

I ask that you keep these people in your thoughts and prayers. Pray for the responders who need to be as
strong to deal with what they are facing. Offer anything you can.  If asked to donate a dollar to the cause, give them two. Donate money, diapers, and new clothes, anything that will ease the pain for those that went through so much.

There are hundreds of stories here, of survival, of thanks, of pain. One couple invited me into their
home, showing that the tornado’s winds ran through the house, blowing out the entire side wall of the two story home, but sparing their daughter’s bedroom, where she was hiding. One young fellow was retrieving anything he could from
his apartment that was literally blown off the foundation and destroyed. I offered him and his helpers a case of water. He hugged me. Damn!

Corporate America is responding financially and with in-kind donations. Thank those that have.

We need to be ready for anything. Be prepared not only at your business but at home with your families.
Never say never. Disasters happen anytime, anywhere.

Reach out and help your fellow American, fellow human.  They can really use it now.

All the best,



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