By Lorcan McCormick
Martin Post Associate Editor
This weekend, the Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group in partnership with Weakley County EMA (Emergency Management Agency) and Northwest Tennessee Development District, is hosting a Disaster Preparedness Month event.
“This family-friendly event will help Weakley County residents prepare for future disasters. The Weakley County Community Disaster Preparedness Event will take place Sept. 9, at the Martin Recreational Complex in Martin from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will include representatives from disaster recovery organizations, local emergency services departments and a Touch-A-Truck with their emergency vehicles, free weather radio distribution and programming, free face painting and inflatables for the kids sponsored by A2H Design, and much more. A rain date for this event is scheduled for Sep. 16, 2023,” Misti Pequignot, Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group Coordinator, noted in a press release.
“Weakley County Emergency Management Agency is proud to partner with the Northwest Tennessee Development District, Weakley County Long Term Recovery Committee, and several other agencies, to participate in a Disaster Preparedness Community Event on September 9, 2023. September is National Preparedness Month, where we make targeted efforts to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. The Disaster Preparedness Event is a fun, family-oriented event that aims to assist participants interested in emergency planning. Events such as this also allow our emergency response agencies to connect with the public and educate the community about their response capabilities and specialized equipment.
“Throughout the last year, our residents have endured a number of potentially-dangerous weather events, including record-breaking temperatures (both low and high), ice and snow storms, flooding, thunderstorms, and damaging wind. The need for individuals to plan and prepare for disasters has never been greater, and it is our sincere hope that the September 9 Disaster Preparedness Event can be an asset to our community that will help achieve that end,” Ray Wiggington, Director of Weakley County EMA, shared.
After the Dec. 10, 2021, tornado caused significant damage to homes and businesses in Dresden, the Martin Business Association took action and collected financial donations to assist local businesses. “Martin Business Association has announced the second-round recipients of the MBA Tornado Relief Grant funding opportunity for business owners in the Dresden, Tennessee, area who were impacted by the Dec. 10, 2021, tornado. Second-round recipients include Westcoast Firearms LLC, Urban Designs, ClaireBrooke Consignment & Boutique, and Court Square Deli. First round recipients included Chopping Box Ranch, Delta Imaging, and The Flower Box. A total of $20,000 was awarded through the MBA Tornado Relief Grant Program,” Pequignot announced.
“As of Aug. 30, 2023, the WCLTRG Allocations Committee has facilitated the payment of $350,321.95 to meet the needs of survivors in case management since its inception. Funding has been provided by Dresden Church of Christ, Dresden First Baptist Church, Dresden Rotary Club, Greenfield Church of Christ, Lebanon Church of Christ, Lutheran Disaster Relief, Weakley County Baptist Association, Tennessee-Western Kentucky United Methodists Conference, and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. These organizations provided an additional $200,920.00 in assistance to survivors prior to the creation of the WCLTRG in addition to food, toiletries, appliances, and clothing,” she added.
Concluding, “If you are a survivor with unmet needs or your needs have changed, please contact the Recovery Connection at (615) 270-9255 or the Tornado Recovery Center at (731) 699-7913. The Tornado Recovery Center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 4pm to support survivors locally. The center is currently staffed by the Program Coordinator and two case managers. Walk-ins are welcome or you can contact the center by calling (731) 699-7913.”
For more information, visit www.rebuildweakley.com or the WCLTRG’s Facebook page. Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. is the Disaster Preparedness Event in Martin at the Martin Recreational Complex. All community members are invited to attend this free event.