ZF on the Ground in Tornado-Struck Alabama
The damage done to five Southern US states by high-powered tornadoes claimed hundreds of people and ripped the foundation from beneath the thousands of survivors who now struggle to rebuild their lives.
Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) is in Alabama, the state hardest hit by the tornadoes, is laying the groundwork for relief projects to address the long term needs of those hardest hit.
A ZF representative has travelled through the state meeting with officials in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and remote areas of north-western Alabama to coordinate relief efforts.
ZF also met with tornado survivors to consider their needs and listen to their stories. Some of those worst affected were in remote small towns such as Hackleburg and East Franklin, Alabama. The Alabama State Disaster Management team reports that the tornado that devastated Hackleburg destroyed 197 buildings, damaged 289 buildings, and ruined 30 of the 31 businesses that were in the area.
Although the immediate needs of food and shelter have been provided to the majority of the victims, a lot of help is needed to clean up the debris left after the storm. Many relief organizations have left the scene; however, the effects of the storms still remain. Many farmers in East Franklin lost everything including their houses, barns, and livestock.
It is clear that people in these areas will require long–term help, including permanent housing, job assistance and repairs for destroyed buildings including schools. ZF is committed to helping those most hurt by the deadly tornadoes rebuild their lives and identify the best and most sustainable ways to help people of Alabama recover.