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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Alabama communities reflect on building resilience after tornado devastation

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Thursday, January 25, 2024   

It's been just over one year since tornadoes ravaged communities in areas such as Dallas, Coosa and Tallapoosa counties in Alabama.

While the new year brings hope, many residents are still grappling with the aftermath, raising important discussions about climate resilience and future recovery efforts.

Collins Pettaway III is a Selma resident and vice basileus of the Omega Chi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

He said during the aftermath of the storm, several local organizations worked together to pick up the pieces and reach residents who couldn't access other parts of the city.

"We made the decision to open up our fraternity house as a distribution center, and so we immediately started pulling in the funds that we had as a chapter to buy food," said Pettaway. "We set up dinner. Little did we realize that would turn into a much larger initiative."

Despite being located in "Dixie Alley," Pettaway said he believes the community was caught off guard, ill-prepared for the scale of devastation because the storm occurred in the off-season for tornadoes.

He acknowledged that preparedness and community action can play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of natural disasters, even during unexpected times.

Since the damage, community organizers within the community like the Rotary Club and Hometown Organizing Project have made efforts to rebuild and help residents focus on building climate resilience.

Pettaway said factors such as poverty rates and a lack of resources in the area are things that can make recovery from these events more difficult.

About one in three people among Selma's nearly 17,000 residents live in poverty.

However, he said he is hopeful that although the city may have a long way to go, this can serve as an opportunity to be better equipped in the future, but it's going to take community organizing and education.

"We're a year after, and we're just now getting ready to rebuild a good number of these homes, and that's just one step," said Pettaway. "You still have to also look at ensuring that these people who are already struggling economically and financially have the resources that they need. That's another step."

At the state level, Dallas County and other impacted areas were approved for disaster aid through FEMA.

The assistance includes grants for things such as temporary housing, home repairs and programs for business owners.




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