Ringgold Community Leaders Acting in Disaster - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ringgold Community Leaders Acting in Disaster

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RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)  --  It's been nearly two weeks since tornadoes ripped through the south.  Tuesday in Ringgold, one of the hardest hit areas, officials announced a 9 p.m. curfew will stay in place until further notice.

City and County leaders say they have made great strides in overcoming the initial effects of the April 27th disaster.

Now, their focus is turning to the future and the continuing efforts to recover and rebuild their community.

There is newly organized disaster response group is called Community Organizations Acting in Disaster, or COAD.   

It's mission is to fill in gaps for tornado victims left behind by FEMA and insurance companies.

"There's a lot of work going on by a lot of different people," says Ringgold Pastor Dr. Ron Tankersley.  "It's be good if we can get that coordinated to one place where people can go and get the help they need." 

When disaster strikes knowing where to turn for help, can be hard.

"We have a lot of people in our community which will fall through some gaps," says City Councilman Randell Franks.

Gaps which federal and insurance aid are sure to leave behind, for those victims who lost everything.

"That's our goal, to make everyone whole," says Mike Yoder, with the North GA Methodist Disaster Relief. 

A bold statement but the group gathered in the Ringgold United Methodist Church gymnasium is up for the task. Tuesday they organized for the first time.

"When somebody calls us with a need then a case worker will be assigned to them," says Yoder. 

COAD plans to assign and train volunteer case workers to those who come to them for help.  The case worker will assess the situation and recommend a dollar amount to help victims rebuild their lives.

"Then our committee can decide how much money to give to that person with the unmeet need," says Yoder. 

It's a group completely separate from government.  For Ringgold Church pastors like Ron Tankersley it's much needed direction.

"We get a lot of phone calls from people wanting to send donations," he says.  "We'll just route those to this group, and be available for whatever the committee asks us to." 

The COAD plans to operate out of the Ringgold United Methodist Church.  They set up a hotline for victims to can request help.  Call 706-935-2109 or 706-935-2199. 

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