USA (MNN) — Deadly tornadoes have killed more than 300 people and left thousands homeless across six states. The death toll is expected to climb as a result of last week's twisters. Weather forecasters say this is the deadliest tornado season in the United States in 40 years.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains has staff on the ground in Birmingham, Alabama assessing the damage and ministering to those who were affected.
Thousands are homeless. Chaplains will address the emotional and spiritual needs of tornado survivors in and around Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deployed in coordination with Samaritan's Purse, the international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, who is also president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
"The swath of devastation that has ripped through the South and brought so much death and destruction is stunning," said Preston Parrish, executive vice president of ministry at BGEA. "The overwhelming sense of loss — for those who lost their homes, and especially for those who lost loved ones — will be nearly unbearable for many. We want those suffering to know that Christ cares for them, that we are praying for them, and that we will be standing beside them."
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a nationwide network of chaplains across 40 states that are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Since the ministry was launched in 2002, it has deployed in response to more than 100 natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and shootings. For more information on the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, visit www.billygraham.org/rrt or www.facebook.com/BGRapidResponseTeam.