Churches Help Tornado Victims

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The First United Methodist Church in Apalachicola. It's a place where you can find refuge in more ways than one.

This is one of 43 churches in Franklin County acting as a network to escort evacuees to safety if it's ever needed.

Butch Baker, Franklin County Emergency Manager, said, "So that if we have a disaster, we need to evacuate people, the churches would help identify the people that need to be evacuated and bring them in to a pickup point to help them get out of the county safely."

The idea spawned after Hurricane Dennis tore through this town.

Pastors at the First United Methodist Church say they've handed out $80,000 to $100,000 to victims of the recent tornado. They're looking to give long-term care where FEMA isn't able to step in, and with trees left on rooftops, a church group known as the chainsaw gang is stepping in.

Pamela Register, Emergency Operations Assistant, said, "We have programs that would not work if it wasn't for the churches pulling together in this county. I mean, it's been great. We had reports that Port St. Joe Baptist Church had men over here cutting down trees."

Pamela Register said the schools have offered the use of school busses for massive evacuations if they ever need them.