Tornado Recovery

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The Memorial Day tornado left behind debris, damaged homes, spoiled food, mangled trees, and smashed cars. Immediately, disaster assistance organizations came in to meet our most urgent needs. Now we need to gear up for the next stage of recovery. We, as individuals, are learning which damages will be covered, and which will not. We are discovering new, unmet needs. As a community, we must determine our unmet needs in order to start plugging in resources to meet them.

In order to bring the most resources to our community, a Long Term Recovery Group has been formed to assist the community in rebuilding. Here are some activities undertaken by the Long Term Recovery Group to date:

Distributed Disaster Assessment Forms: Mailed to all households in the area, the Disaster Assessment Form was due by July 30. This is how our Long Term Recovery Group learned of individual damages. 158 forms were returned; all parties were personally contacted by telephone, text, and/or mail to determine unmet needs. Top unmet needs were for emotional support and assistance and unreimbursed losses, particularly related to tree damage and removal. 
Connected to time-sensitive resources: The group distributed information about special SBA Disaster Loan Programs available to households in our area in advance of the August 12 deadline and continued to assist households denied SBA funding by working with the Indiana Disaster Relief Fund.  Businesses that have suffered economic hardship stemming from the storm have until March 2020 to apply for SBA Disaster Loans. Other referrals have been made to local aid providers such as food pantries, Outfitters, Charlie's Fund for Children, and Township Trustees.

The local Long Term Recovery Group is working with Indiana VOAD to ensure the availability and impartial provision of needed services. While we are going through this process for the first time, INVOAD is an experienced partner helping guide our steps, and they have told us that these are the first big steps to take in our long term recovery. 

The South Madison Community Foundation will administer recovery funds according to best practice for community foundations and in compliance with IRS guidelines. Learn more about disaster aid compliance in this brief podcast.

Thank you for helping take our next steps together.

The Long Term Recovery Group is made up of community members Bill Hutton, Norma Gasparovic, Carl Lamb, Luke Renner, Tom Whitesell, and Frank Zebedis, and is facilitated and hosted by the South Madison Community Foundation. You may direct questions or concerns to any committee member or to the Foundation office at 765.778.8444.

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