TYLER, Texas — Every year, lives are forever changed from the devastation of natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. The larger the disaster, the harder it is to figure out how to help those affected.
Volunteers with the The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) said it is their duty to help people who survive disasters, but need help getting their lives back to together.
"For us, there's a biblical mandate that we reach out to help our fellow man in a crisis," said Director of Disaster Relief Scotie Stice. "A natural disaster is a crisis where we can do that."
Stice says the SBTC has around 6,000 volunteers and 92 units in Texas that can be deployed. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been unable to hold training.
That changed Saturday, as the organization held their first event to train new volunteers since March. Among the skills volunteers learn are using tools like chainsaws and communication with survivors.
"We try to teach safety, about how to work in the field and stay safe, it is a disaster zone," said Stice. "So there are many different things to watch out for." "Just good work habits, and how to interact with a survivor."