Preparations for Disaster Relief Volunteer Work in Alabama

Kentucky Work Group

If you are a volunteer with our group, keep checking this web page for updated information.

Disaster Relief trips:

Kentucky Coordinators:

Alabama and Mississippi Contacts:


If we have a small group (<15 people), we will stay at Grace Presbyterian Church. If larger than 15, we will be divided among several churches, to be announced.

Grace Presbyterian Church, 1255 Navco Road, Mobile, AL 36605 (251-471-4693). Use this Mapquest link for map and travel directions. Essentially, one takes the Bluegrass Parkway to Interstate 65; stay on I-65 through Mobile, AL. You will see the exit for Airport Blvd.first, don't take it, but be prepared to take the next exit which is Government Blvd. (US 90). It is a two-lane exit, be in the left lane of the exit lane because you will be making a left turn onto Government Blvd. After passing under the interstate, take a right at the second traffic light onto McVay Drive. Turn left at the second traffic light onto Navco Road. Grace Presbyterian Church is on the right about 0.2-mile from traffic light. It is the first field that you come to; it has two gravel drives, park in back of church in field.

Grace Presbyterian Church has a kitchen and refrigerator, bath rooms, two showers, beds for about 15, a television (no cable or aerial) and VCR, computer with dial-up internet connection, storage shed, telephone and a nice large field for throwing frisbees. I will have a couple of small charcoal grills there if you want to cook out. The members of this church generously provide their space, bedding, and a well-stocked kitchen for us to use. They also provide some items to take into the field. They may offer to cook for us, but I will discourage that; we should cook for ourselves. They will have breakfast items, sandwich-making materials to take out into the field, and dinner items. A grocery store, pharmacy and dollar store are within easy walking distance. We will probably buy some of our food to supplement what the church has bought. For example, I bought fresh shrimp at a local seafood market on my last visit.

Mobile has all the grocery stores, department stores, restaurants, gasoline stations that you could want. If you forget something or need something, you can buy it in Mobile. Cell phones work well there. Bayou La Batre has some gas stations, department stores, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. and more are opening every week. Cell phone coverage was spotty when I was there in October. Use this map for potential work area in Bayou La Batre.

Typical Schedule:

  1. Get up before daylight (days will be very short at end of December)
  2. Fix your own breakfast (cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, etc) (I'll fix some coffee).
  3. Make and pack your own lunch and take bottled water or thermos of water. A small cooler might be handy.
  4. Drive to work area (arranged the night before). The trip takes about 30 minutes.
  5. Work. We will be working on individual homes. Get to know the homeowners, this is the rewarding part. I understand that most of the work will be "mucking out houses," which means carrying out furniture, tearing up carpeting, tearing out drywall, etc. Take pictures.
  6. Break for lunch if you want to. In fact, take a break anytime that you feel you should; we don't want anybody to overdo it; everyone has their own pace.
  7. Afternoon work.
  8. Some days, we may take a break in the late afternoon, especially if we have just finished a job. This would be a good time to drive around a look at the damage done to the area. They had a large storm surge here and if you drive down Shell Belt Road, you can see lots of commercial fishing boats washed onto land. Take pictures, but don't be intrusive (you'll know when it's inappropriate).
  9. Make arrangements for work on the following day.
  10. Drive back to the church, clean up, wind down and relax. Make plans for dinner.
  11. Dinner, either make your own, or with a group, or go out to one of the many good restaurants in the area. It's up to you. I'll have hot sauce, by the way.
  12. Evening, watch TV or a video tape (bring your own tapes), send e-mail (slow dial-up connection), play cards or board games (bring some if you want), go to movies (there is a large theatre nearby; you'll have to drive), keep a diary, or what-ever-you want. Be considerate and tolerant of others.
  13. Sleep: men in one part of the church; women in another part. Use a small flashlight if you have to get up in the middle of the night. If snoring bothers you, you might consider taking ear plugs.



Consider bringing some of the following:

It will be like camp. It should be rewarding and fun. Drive safely. We'll meet at the church in Mobile.