In a time span of 40 hours, beginning April 13th 2019, 71 tornadoes touched down across the eastern United States. The most significant event of the outbreak happened in Alto, Texas where two tornados, an EF2 and an EF3 crossed paths and resulted in two deaths.
Minuteman’s Rapid Response team was tracking the storm allowing them to be among the first on site. The team was able to immediately begin clearing storm debris from roads to allow first responders access for search and rescue operations.
The Rapid Response team was followed by the Relief Team which provided cleanup relief efforts in the area for 7 days. One of the affected areas Minuteman was able to assist with cleanup was the Native American Caddo Mounds Historic Site.
Kevin Mechler, Deputy Director of Relief Operations for Minuteman Disaster Response, was impressed how the community of Alto came together to support each other and pay respect to the two lives that were lost. Mechler said, “It’s amazing what the human spirit is capable of overcoming when we are not overcome by the events at hand.” He feels like that is an important element to what Minuteman offers. He goes on to say, “When disaster strikes and families are overwhelmed, we come in as trained professionals to provide guidance, manpower and equipment. We work side by side (in most cases) with the victims in the cleanup process … relieving some pressure that allows them to move forward … one step at a time.”