How Do You Respond to a Disaster?

When Disaster Strikes

I got a phone call from my girlfriend in McEwen saying that the roads were bad. So, I made the decision to pack up my to-go bag. I always have a to-go bag ready because that creek floods. I woke up my daughter and said, “Hey, we probably need to leave now.” I was driving along, then all of a sudden, I crossed the railroad bridge up here on I-70, and I got a little bit of water. And the water got deeper and deeper and deeper. Within 2 or 3 minutes, it was in my lap. I was panicking this time.

The emotions that I’m going through are just outrageous. I crawl out, I sit on the cab of my truck, the highest point on my truck. And then, all of a sudden, it’s up to my chest. My truck started floating past vehicles. There was a man standing on the top of his vehicle. And I said, “Sir, my name is Todd Wertz. I have 2 daughters, McKenna Wertz and Jordan Wertz. If anything happens to me, please let them know that I love them.”


I Knew There Was Hope

I kept praying and kept praying, “Lord, Lord, Lord, find a way to rescue all these people on top of these vehicles and myself, please.” Within 5 minutes, there was this guy on the top of the hill… I heard a noise on top of this hill at his driveway. He’s bringing his bass boat down. As soon as I saw that boat, I knew that there was hope. I knew that I was going to be safe, that I wasn’t alone anymore, and that I’d see my daughters. He got me in the boat, and we started saving the rest of the people.

I praise God every single day for Mr. Emory. I praise God for the help that has served the people of this community. I never realized the pain that you go through when I was doing disaster relief. I was there helping people get their lives back together, but I never understood the trauma that these people have gone through.

When you guys came in Tuesday and helped me, that burden was just outrageously lifted off of me. They also made me feel good. Not because of what they were doing, but how they talked to me, interacted with me, and comforted me. Each and every one of them promised, “You know what… It looks like its a disaster now, but it will get better.” So, the reassurance that I got from them was probably the lifesaver of them all.


Because Jesus Cares for Us

I became involved in the Disaster Response team here. It’s a big part of our life and one of our big joys. People, when they have gone through something like this, need to tell their story. They need to unload those feelings. We are here because we care, and we care because Jesus cared for us.

And if they don’t know the love of the Lord, it’s an opportunity to share that with them sometimes. We are here really to tell the gospel, and if necessary, do some work. And for people who are believers, we are here to remind them that their hope is somewhere beyond the stuff that they just lost.