Kentucky Area Tornado Recovery

11 January 2022 – IEEE-USA’s MOVE-2 team is leaving Kentucky this morning and plans a 2 day return. Thank you to everyone who supported the Kentucky deployment.

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MOVE is funded by donations like yours. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please consider helping the MOVE Community Outreach program by donating to the cause.

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Thank You For Your Support

10 January 2022 – Walt Burns and David Sewell continue to support DST as the operation transitions from response to recovery. They working in the headquarters in Gilbertsville, KY. Walt went to Mayfield, Kentucky today to inventory technology equipment at six different sites and pick up equipment at a warming site that is no longer needed. The plans for the Red Cross recovery portion of the service delivery plan are nearly ready to launch. 

9 January 2022 – Walt Burns and David Sewell spent the day writing, testing, and revising procedures and checklists for MOVE-2. The team writes procedures from the simple tasks like deploying the stairs to more complex ones like deploying the satellite and other network equipment. The team continues to be in the transition phase between supporting the response phase and the recovery phase of the operation. They will find out more tomorrow about how MOVE-2 will support the technology requirements for Recovery. 

8 January 2022 – For the last two days, Walt and David as well as nearly all of the Disaster Responders in Kentucky have been on ground stop status because of a snow storm that brought about 5 inches of snow and ice to the area. Essential tasks like feeding and shelter support continued. Out of a concern for safety we all stayed in our accommodations until 11 AM today.

MOVE-2 – 8 January 2022

MOVE-2 was on standby in case it was needed over the last two days. The time was used to continue working on procedures for MOVE-2. The cold weather caused the batteries on MOVE-2 to fail, which we got replaced on Wednesday. There is still work to do there as the disaster operation transitions from the response to recovery phase during which those affected by the tornadoes are assisted with resources for the long-term. Walt and David continue to support the DST operations in headquarters and in the field.

5 January 2022 – MOVE-1 is back safe in Raleigh.  About a 12 hour drive door to door after a 3 week deployment.  MOVE-2 continues to operate in western Kentucky.

4 January 2022 – The 5 IEEE MOVE team members currently on site at the Red Cross headquarters in Gilbertsville KY are Walt Burns, David Sewell, Grayson Randall, Thomas Kimball, Jay Diepenbrock

After 3 weeks on the job, Jay Diepenbrock and Grayson Randall are taking MOVE-1 back to Raleigh, NC.  MOVE-2 will stay in Kentucky to cover any missions that remain. Communications in the area continue to improve and the need for the MOVE trucks can now be covered by 1 vehicle.

3 January 2022 – Walt Burns and Grayson Randall were assigned to a problem in Mayfield today as The Red Cross was unable to get internet at an intake center. The team was able to isolate the problem and set up equipment to resolve – They had all the tools and capabilities needed to solve this type of problem.

The last few days it has been very cold and there were some issues starting MOVE-2.  With the help of David Wright, MOVE Maintenance lead, the truck batteries were replaced. That should resolve the cold morning starting issues (key as it could be close to zero later this week).

MOVE-2 is scheduled back to Bremen tomorrow to support additional case work.

2 January 2022 – Today the entire MOVE team here in Kentucky had the day off.  Because of the cold weather,  we went to HQ and started up both the trucks to charge the batteries.  Tomorrow, the team will be back at HQ to receive assignments.

1 January 2022 (New Year’s Day) – David, Jay, and Walt returned to Bremen to supply internet to the Red Cross (today was the last day at this site).

We have had a very significant rainfall the last 24 hours. MOVE-2 left early this morning in a heavy rain. The MOVE team operates in many weather conditions.  Because of the bad weather,  HQ put a “ground stop” in place. Grayson was supposed to inventory several sites, but had to stay at HQ for the day. MOVE-2 was given a waiver that allowed them to return late this afternoon.

31 December 2021 (New Year’s Eve) – David Sewell, Jay Diepenbrock,  and Walt Burns took MOVE-2 back to Bremen today. Again, the team provided internet for volunteers to register people that needed disaster relief.   They are scheduled to provide that service again tomorrow.

Grayson Randall spent the day at HQ assisting volunteers with technology needs and was able to spend some time training some new DST volunteers on networking.

We are expecting heavy rains the next 24 hours and then the temperature is supposed to drop significantly.

30 December 2021 – Today, David Sewell and Grayson Randall took MOVE-2 to Bremen KY. This small town of 290 people suffered tremendous damage from the tornado.  Registration for disaster relief was setup in the town hall. MOVE-2 provided internet for the case workers.

The MOVE team is also monitoring fires in Colorado and a large storm coming in this weekend. IEEE MOVE team member Walt Burns arrived today. At this time, we have 5 team members and 2 trucks on site in Kentucky and a cast of support team members operating virtually. Thank you to the entire MOVE team for their dedicated support over the holidays

29 December 2021 – Jay Diepenbrock worked at HQ today learning about how the Red Cross deploys iPad’s  at disasters.

David Sewell and Grayson Randall drove to Breman, KY (about an hour drive) to review the potential deployment of MOVE. they assessed the amount of power and communications already available,  a place to park the truck, where in the building we needed to supply services, and tried to get a feel for any other requirements.  The site was a good match for MOVE.  They will be working at this site for the next few days.

28 December 2021 – Today, the MOVE-2 team (David Sewell and Jay Diepenbrock) arrived in Kentucky this afternoon after a 2 day drive from North Carolina.  Upon arrival, they checked in on the job, and spent time configuring cell phones for the staff and iPads for client registration.

The MOVE-1 team (Thomas Kimball and Grayson Randall) worked at HQ today where they received a shipment of laptops and smart phones.  Several DST volunteers worked to configure all the equipment for incoming volunteers.   Grayson also helped setup another printer and configure the volunteer laptops that required access.

This afternoon, Grayson met with several Red Cross volunteers to discuss the capabilities of MOVE trucks and how MOVE can assist in different scenarios.  The Red Cross is working in towns that still have limited power and communications after over two weeks. We are working closely to understand the best utilization of MOVE in wide areas of destruction.

Over 2,000 homes are identified as having major damage or were destroyed. There are families associated with each home.  We are working diligently to assist all those with needs.

27 December 2021 – Ira Arman has returned after his 2 week deployment.  Special thanks to all his time and contributions.

Today, Thomas Kimball and Grayson Randall went to Dawson Springs to set up communications at an intake center. This was followed by a trip to Mayfield where they collected equipment from a site that was shutdown. The sites and locations are rapidly changing as the Red Cross defines the best ways to serve those impacted.

MOVE-2 will arrive tomorrow afternoon.  They will receive assignments on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the MOVE weather team is closely monitoring a large cold front expected this weekend.  Because of the huge change in temperature, there is a possibility of severe weather in the south.

26 December 2021 – MOVE-2 is deploying to Kentucky to assist MOVE-1 in supporting the disaster relief efforts.  MOVE is providing power and communications to the Red Cross in areas that still do not have these services.

25 December 2021 (Christmas) – Today the Red Cross provided volunteers with a big breakfast and a Christmas dinner. The team did work a couple hours to make some required changes at HQ.

24 December 2021 (Christmas Eve) – Spent the day in Benton supplying internet services to the Red Cross Aid Station. Afterwards, the team went to Mayfield to pack up another site. The team returned to DRO-HQ for a big dinner provided to everyone on the job.

23 December 2021 – The MOVE team returned to Benton KY.  and supported an aid station near an Elks club. This location hosted a huge Christmas event where families came and kids picked out all toys they could carry – a wonderful community event .  Many stopped by to talk with disaster relief volunteers and ask questions.  Mental health,  spiritual care, and RNs were available to those that stopped by. Many hugs, tears, and prayers throughout the day.

We had a long discussion about the damage and how long the recovery will take. In Mayfield, all local government facilities were destroyed (courthouse, police, fire, churches, as well as downtown stores). This medium size town will take many years to recover.  

The team will work till 3 pm Christmas eve and then will be treated to a steak dinner from Outback.  Back to work on Sunday.

IEEE-USA’s MOVE-2 vehicle will be deploying to Kentucky on Monday 12/27.  They are tentatively scheduled to head to Culvert City, KY.

22 December 2021 – Today, The IEEE-USA MOVE team was assigned to Benton, KY. The Red Cross is setting up aid stations at locations throughout the damaged areas. Aid stations have many resources including distribution of supplies, registration for support resources,  mental health and spiritual support. These stations often are setup in parking lots without power or internet. The MOVE team can quickly setup for these daily stations that are traditionally difficult to service. As there are many sites that need our resources, the MOVE-2 has been requested to provide additional support.

Today, we spoke with a family who crawled out of the wreckage of their home. Everyone survived with minor injuries and even though they lost everything, they were all thankful to be alive.  Everyone seems to be positive and thankful, but we know many are lost and do not know how to move forward. Many have lost everything and the efforts of our MOVE team directly support the ability of first responders to service these people.

It is a difficult time for many and It is truly touching to work with those impacted.

Community outreach has been overwhelming.  Food stations, water, clothes, and Christmas toys are overflowing recovery centers. This community support allows the first responders to focus on the people and their path to recovery.  MOVE is proud to support their efforts.

20 December 2021 – Today, we visited a warehouse, a shelter, family service center, and an intake center at a high school where we set up computers,  reallocated equipment to places that needed it, and set up a satellite dish. We also had a Red Cross executive from Washington DC shadowed us today.  It helps him to understand what we do in the field. Another 15 hour day.

Tomorrow we are headed to Dawson Springs Kentucky to support a Red Cross resource center.  They have no power or communications at the location. MOVE will support the technology needs of the volunteers so they can directly support those in need.

19 December 2021 – This morning, the team returned to the Mayfield shelter to assist another team setting up a satellite dish.  On their way, the team passed through Mayfield KY. This town was in the direct path of an extremely bad tornado that was on the ground for 230 miles in 4 states.

Tentatively MOVE will be in operation here until early January. Thousands of first responders and disaster relief teams are working diligently to assist those in need.  And the people here certainly need the help.

18 December 2021 – Today, IEEE-USA’s MOVE team spent the day at a client shelter in the city of Mayfield KY.  The shelter was having connectivity issues with their computers. The cell system is not stable and the team connected the shelter to the MOVE truck to supply a temporary stable connection as they worked to find a solution. They were able to resolve the issue and are looking at a portable satellite dish as best option for the immediate future.

We understand that there are an “estimated” 1,200 houses destroyed and over 1000 people are staying in shelters. It will be a very long recovery for many in this area.

17 December 2021 – Lots of IT work today, the team corrected some issues with regards to internet connectivity at a local warehouse and delivered and configured a large network printer.

Pictured: Ira Arman, MOVE volunteer

Meanwhile, the MOVE-2 participated in a training event in Charlotte sponsored by North Carolina Emergency Management. Jay Diepenbrock was in charge of that exercise.

16 December 2021 – The team spent most of the day (16 hours at DRO-HQ) providing IT support (network/printer connections and configuration, logging in, etc.) so that volunteers could provide aid to those affected by the devastating storms.

15 December 2021 – Today, the team worked at DRO-HQ assisting the 100’s of Red Cross volunteers that continue to arrive.  Setting up laptops, phones, and ability to print.

At noon they were given a mission to setup communications at a shelter in Bowling Green, KY.  Not knowing a lot of specifics they pulled equipment from inventory, tested all the equipment,  and loaded the MOVE truck.

After a 2 hour drive the team worked with shelter management to determine equipment was needed. After setup, testing, and a meal at the shelter, they drove the 2 hours back to the hotel near DRO-HQ -A 15 hour day. The shelter will use the equipment to submit reports and interact with HQ. They were so excited to have this equipment setup and operational.

Pictured: Ira Arman, MOVE Volunteer

The situation is fluid and the MOVE team will not know tomorrow’s assignment until they check in at HQ in the morning.  Supposed to be rainy and windy according to the weather team.  But so many people have been impacted. Heavy rain may bring additional people to our shelters. MOVE will do everything possible to help them.

14 December 2021 – Yesterday the team drove from Raleigh NC to Cooksville, TN (east of Nashville) where they stayed overnight (rooms were hard to get near the event). This morning, Ira and Grayson picked up equipment in Clarksville, TN. They arrived at Disaster Relief Operations Headquarters (DRO-HQ) at about 12:30 PM and, after checking in, they spent the day helping configure the HQ. This included setting up a 2nd satellite dish and configuring a system for meetings in the conference room.  Many people arrived today for many positions. All needed phones and laptops. Tomorrow they expect to take additional equipment to a warehouse and set up communications there.

13 December 2021 – IEEE-USA’s MOVE-1 disaster relief team is on the road to Kentucky to help with tornado recovery efforts. Follow their efforts here.

Ira Arman (left), Grayson Randall (right)

12 December 2021 – IEEE-USA’s MOVE-1 disaster relief team has been deployed to Kentucky to assist with tornado recovery efforts. More details will be posted soon (preparations are underway and the team, Grayson Randall and Ira Arman, will be leaving Durham, NC tomorrow morning).

As many as 58 tornado sightings were reported to the National Weather Service on Friday. Hundreds of additional high wind reports were logged.
Source: NOAA’s National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.

Our thoughts are with everyone whose lives were changed forever by this catastrophic storm.

Dozens of tornadoes touched down leaving considerable damage and dozens of fatalities.

  • One particularly destructive tornado tore through parts of four states in four hours, starting in Northeast Arkansas and carving a path of destruction through “quad-state” towns like Monette, Arkansas, and Mayfield, Kentucky, for hundreds of miles.
  • Roads have been completely devastated in places and communities have suffered significant damage with homes and buildings destroyed, and tens of thousands of people left without power.
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency, describing the situation as one of the most severe tornado events in the state’s history.

You Can Help

MOVE is funded by donations like yours. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please consider helping the MOVE Community Outreach program by donating to the cause.

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Thank You For Your Support