West Texas is no stranger to death and destruction of tornadoes, but it's not just victims of mother nature that need help. That's why a group of church volunteers started Lubbock's first ever Disaster Relief Team. And after years in the making, on Saturday, the team is ready and waiting to respond immediately to any disaster, both large and small.
Because lost seconds in disaster can mean lost lives, a team of volunteers is on the forefront of making immediate aid on the South Plains a reality.
"We provide the equipment and the manpower, and the American Red Cross provides the food and we cook it and send it out to the people," says Jered Sellers with Texas Baptist Men.
Sellers is training a group of more than 100 volunteers from dozens of different churches to form Lubbock's first Disaster Relief Team.
"The one here in Lubbock is just getting started, but they have a tremendous vision," says Sellers.
A vision built on Christian love and serving others in a time of need. On Saturday, members earned a yellow hat, the symbol of completing disaster training.
"That's the workers. Tat's the guys that make it happen. That's where the rubber meets the road is with the yellow caps," says Sellers.
The hats are already highly recognized in other parts of the state. Worn by disaster relief teams who have taken amazing strides in helping others. Teams helped search for debris after the space shuttle Columbia tragedy and served food to victims of the Happy tornado last year. But should any diaster large or small strike close to home, these Lubbock foot soldiers of faith are prepared.
"Disaster doesn't have to be the whole town, it can be one house or one family. It doesn't have to be something huge. So, we're gearing up to be able to reach the one house, the apartment complex, and sharing our Christian love for people," says disaster relief volunteer Hal Rowe.
"It's about showing the love of Christ. When disaster happens, things are thrown into chaos, and being able to do something tangible and meet a need is very important I think," says disaster relief volunteer Denise Cox.
"We want to be ready for it. Lubbock had a tornado back in the 70's, and at that time, disaster relief was just getting off the ground and there were no units to respond to that, but today, if a tornado hit a small town, Slaton or Post or Lubbock, we would have a team that would respond immediately," says Sellers.
Lubbock is one of 14 disaster relief teams in Texas, but they could still use some help in paying for equipment costs. If you would like to make a donation or become a team member, you can call Lubbock's Disaster Relief Team at (806) 787-9601. You can be any church denomination and any age to volunteer.