The true mark of a tight-knit community is how they respond to tragedy.
In October 2019, a severe storm moved across North Texas, leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Around 9:30 PM the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down in the Dallas area, turning the situation from bad to worse. Winds up to 140 mph were documented as the twister pummeled homes, businesses, and highways.
The next morning, area residents awoke to find utility poles snapped in half, trees uprooted, streets flooded, and entire buildings ripped apart by the EF-3 storm. People slowly began to clean up the debris, and those who were lucky enough to have safety weathered the storm turned their thoughts towards helping those who weren’t as fortunate. Many local businesses stepped up to help in any way that they could, and the resulting influx of kindness reveals a strong community that refuses to be torn apart.
1. Chick-fil-A Hands Out Free Food to First-Responders
The Chick-fil-A on 3820 W Northwest Highway in Dallas was undamaged by the storm. Employees hit the streets the next day to pass out free comfort food to first responders and other citizens who were out cleaning up the mess.
“Thank you to everyone for your prayers and to Chick-fil-A Love for the neighborly love bringing around lunch to all of us cleaning up debris from last nights tornado,” wrote local resident Michelle Flores.
2. Alamo Drafthouse Offers Free PG Movies For Families Displaced By Storm
3. Home Depot Closes Early & Sends Everyone Home Before Being Destroyed
The Home Depot store manager made a very wise decision to send employees and customers home before the storm. Doing so may just have saved their lives! The building was absolutely flattened by the tornado, which ripped off the roof and reduced the structure to a pile of rubble. In a scene that perfectly symbolizes the buoyancy of the American spirit, the next day workers erected a flag over the damaged building, giving hope to all who see it.
— Brian Curtis (@BrianCurtisNBC5) October 21, 2019
4. Man Spots Terrified Dog By Himself In Storm. Calls Owner & Gets Him Back Home Safely.
So i decided to come outside and this pup came in running inside my place. Called tag and owner picked him up. He was shaking. Obv got scared from storm. #dallastornado #savedpup pic.twitter.com/7I5JEvpCWF
— BJCR (@BJCR) October 21, 2019
Thank you for thinking of your canine neighbors! We’re sure this pup’s people were so relieved to get him home safely.
5. U-Haul Companies Make 52 Storage Facilities Available For Free.
“The storm hit quickly and has left many residents scrambling to find a place to store their belongings,” said Zane Rowland, U-Haul Company of North East Dallas president. “U-Haul is stepping up to offer our neighbors a place to securely store their things during the clean-up process at no charge for one month.”
6. Local Mom Offers Free “Plogging” Workout To Clean Up Debris.
Natalie Baerwaldt and her daughters took to Instagram to gather people in her neighborhood to go “plogging,” which means to jog and pick up brush and debris as you run. She even provided everyone with plastic gloves and garbage bags!
6. Planet Fitness Offers Full Use Of Facilities At 27 North Texas Locations.
The fitness chain offered up free showers, locker rooms, and even gym equipment for anyone who needs them.
7. Salvation Army and North Texas Food Bank Amp Up Donations.
Both organizations remain committed to getting much-needed clothing, food, and supplies to those in need.
8. WorkSuites and WeWork Offer Free Office Space.
It wasn’t just homes that were destroyed by the tornado. Those who need office space to keep those paychecks coming can find a place to access wi-fi, charge their laptops, and make calls in peace at WorkSuites and WeWork co-working spaces across North Dallas.
9. On the Road Lending Helps Residents Find Transportation.
If your car was destroyed by the tornado, On the Road Lending is offering Disaster Mobility Program services to Dallas residents. This resource for people who have lost vehicles to natural disasters or other crises is free of charge.
10. Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Extends Hours To Provide Service.
The nonprofit offers legal services, including “housing matters affecting both homeowners and renters, or lost or damaged documents, such as birth certificates or car titles.”
If there’s ever a silver lining to a natural disaster like this one, it’s watching how a community comes together afterwards to make sure everyone’s needs are met. It’s terrible to see the devastation of this storm, but we have no doubt that the good people of Dallas will be stronger in the long run thanks to acts of grace like these.
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