Caitria from Recovers.org received a mention regarding the tornado recovery effort in Clay, Alabama. Glad to be among so many people who came from all over to help in the recovery effort as well.
Who Did What in the First Three Weeks of Clay’s Tornado Recovery Effort
Mayor and City Council:
Mayor Ed McGuffie met with federal, state and county officials in coordinating efforts with them and getting
them to help with needs. He oversaw all discussions and meetings concerning the recovery effort.
Councilman L.B. Feemster oversaw the volunteer, donation and food command center, coordinating the efforts
of the non-profit organizations that assisted with the effort.
Councilwoman Becky Johnson helped answer the phone at City Hall and helped with walk ins. She took over
Facebook postings after three weeks. She also helped the Donations Relief Center after it moved to
Councilman Charles Webster helped with donation collections and food at Clearview Baptist Church.
Councilwoman Jackie Hambrick worked on the first morning, helping to direct volunteers at the command
Councilman Kevin Small volunteered on the weekends with clean up in the disaster areas.
City Clerk Bobby Christmas was responsible for information to the news media. He spent most of his time with
Mayor Ed McGuffie, attending meetings with federal, state and county officials. He helped to make sure
decisions were carried out and communicated to the needed parties.
Assistant Clerk Andrea Self helped at the Command Center on the first day, creating database of volunteers
with their contact information and skills. On second day forward, she handled phone calls and assisted
with business license applications at City Hall.
Senior Activity Center Director Linda Love coordinated the donations and distribution of relief supplies starting
from the day after the tornado.
Building Inspector and Public Works Director Lynn Burch oversaw the public works efforts, which included
clearing the roads on the first day and handling the increase in building inspections, debris removal.
Also, he patrolled in the disaster areas, making sure contractors had business licenses and permits.
Code Enforcement Officer Don Isbell worked in the field doing construction inspections.
Bookkeeper / Revenue Clerk Susan Nelson stayed at City Hall handling phone calls, business license applications
and helped with communication.
Public Works Supervisor Ron McGuffie oversaw his department’s work of road clearing, debris removal and
burning and making sure all businesses in the disaster area had a business license.
Contract Deputy Terry Scott made sure law enforcement at the disaster areas carried out the desire of the city
as to who should have access and under what circumstances.
Tina Tidmore managed the city of Clay Facebook page during first three weeks and kept the city website up to
Don Sing took photos of city employees, volunteers and damage.
Hoyt Sanders and city of Leeds building inspector assisted in building inspections.
State and County Officials:
County Commissioner Joe Knight helped cut trees and preparing City Hall as the Donations Relief Center.
He also helped in arranging outside sources for tarps and other supplies.
State Senator Slade Blackwell helped in cutting trees.
Carol Foster helped at City Hall, answering phones and assisting walk-ins.
Donna McGuffie helped at City Hall, answering phones and assisting walk-ins.
Lynn Christmas helped at City Hall, answering phones, paper work and assisting walk-ins in the afternoons.
Lisa Halstead assisted with administrative duties at City Hall for a couple of days.
John Tolar helped enter volunteers into the database and helped manage the Clay Recovers website, which
allowed churches to coordinate their efforts. On February 1, John was added as administrator to the city
of Clay Facebook page to post on matters related to volunteers, food and donations. He also worked to
create a video of the tornado damage and recovery.
Sherri Hood organized food for workers and victims and worked to take food into the disaster areas.
Mike Jenne helped to organize volunteers the first two days after the tornado.
Pat Feemster answered the phone at the Clay Recovery Command Center at Clay United Methodist Church.
She also assisted people coming to the center and created informational documents.
Gail Kohser assisted in setting up and manning the Donations Relief Center at City Hall.
Sheila Gray assisted in entering information in the volunteer database.
Mark Halstead assisted in making sure contractors had licenses and building permits.
Dean Self helped organize the churches and make sure people aren’t taking advantage of the donated supplies.
Buddy Williams helped to organize the volunteer workers and match them with the work orders from the disaster
Marie Gilreath entered the volunteer work hours into the database and assisted victims with getting donated
Caitria O’Neill flew in from Boston and helped with input into the database and set up the Clay Recovers website
where churches could communicate with each other on needs and survivors could remotely ask for
Many other volunteers came day after day helping in food service and donations receiving and distribution at the
Many people came from all over the country and spent a few days helping with clean up in the disaster area.
Additionally, the city of Clay benefited from the services of many non-profit organizations and volunteers from surrounding
communities and across the whole country. Below is a map of where these volunteers traveled from to help
in the tornado recovery.