NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The Hampton Roads region is no stranger to severe weather.
As tornado season continues and hurricane season approaches, it’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s why volunteers assembled nearly 800 disaster relief kits on Wednesday to make sure people are prepared if disaster strikes.
“You’re going to see paper towels, trash bags, disinfectant, cleaning supplies, N95 masks, scour pads and gloves,” said Greg Hyatt, who manages the Home Depot store in Newport News. “All things that they can use immediately, right now to help get them back on their feet.”
The supplies are all packed in a bucket, ready to be distributed to people in need, after an emergency.
Hyatt said, “We’re creating kits that are for emergency disaster relief for those in need when something hits catastrophic, such as a tornado, hurricane or flood. Operation Blessing will have these kits warehoused and ready to go as soon as disaster hits. Therefore, within one day, they can have a response out to people in need.”
The assembled kits will go to Operation Blessing warehouses, including one in Chesapeake.
“For somebody who’s just experienced a flood in their home, it gives them the ability to just go in and start cleaning up,” said Hannah Slusher, operations manager for Operation Blessing.
The kits will be pre-staged if a storm or tornado is anticipated, ready to be distributed to families hit hard by natural disasters.
“It’s like a breath of hope,” said Slusher. “They’ve just been devastated, they’ve been through a disaster, so when we’re able to come in immediate with something tangible that they can grab ahold of and start going toward recovery, it means so much.”
The Home Depot Foundation has committed more than $4 million to help with disaster relief in 2021. You can learn more by clicking here.
You can learn more about Operation Blessing by clicking here. In 2020, the team responded to 15 disasters and coordinated more than 4,000 volunteer hours in disaster relief.