Volunteers with Minuteman Response help cleanup in Alto

Group tracks storms and plans responses ahead of time

Volunteers with Minuteman Response help cleanup in Alto

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - In Alto, members of the Minuteman Disaster Response were some of the first on the scene of the worst hit areas. Now, they’re going house to house helping residents with property damage.

“When bad things happen to people, we come help put the pieces back together again," said volunteer Pete Dumais. "We’re just trying to get a smile out of someone and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

The nonprofit group is helping residents of alto pick up limbs and recover lost belongings on their property. Team leaders say they are in motion before a storm even strikes, and that they are able to track storms while planning their response.

“We follow the storms," Deputy Director Kevin Mechler said. “So Saturday night and Saturday morning, we were in here cutting trees, clearing roads for emergency vehicles to come in. Then the relief guys come out.”

The group has over 100 volunteers from different walks of life, each one extensively trained to respond to a disaster.

“Whenever there is a disaster and help is needed, we’re that minuteman," Mechler said. "The guy at a moment’s notice who go out and we meet the needs of not just the community, but even the individual.”

Team leaders say that they always welcome new volunteers. Initial training can be completed online with advanced training being done in person. Information on how to join the Minuteman Disaster Response can be found here.

To help the victims of these storms, click here to donate to either the American Red Cross or the East Texas Food Bank. Both agencies are working daily in these storm-impacted areas of East Texas.

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