Spaces needed to house tornado recovery volunteers

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- Rebuilding after the tornadoes will require the help of skilled volunteers but they’ll need a place to stay when they’re done working for the day.

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster will arrive from across the state and the country in the spring.

“Volunteer skilled labor is going to be one of the things that makes it possible for us to the amount of work that’s gonna need to be done,” said Laura Mercer, executive director at Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Operations Group.

VOAD groups will be in the area anywhere from a week to a year. The long term recovery group is now in the process of finding places for them to stay. 

“Individual households are not what we’re looking for. These teams will want to stay together,” Mercer said.

The organization is in search of a churches, community organizations or schools that can house 15 to 20 people to sleep. 

“We can put cots and stuff out for them, or air mattresses. They need to have showers accessible so people can get cleaned up after they go out and work on our properties. Then, they need to have some sort of cooking access,” said Mercer.

Mercer said they’ll need at least a half dozen locations. A few places have already been pinned down but they’ll need the community’s help to lock down a few more. 

If you have a place that may be suitable, you can contact Mercer at or call 937-512-4571. If you have a skilled volunteer group who are licensed in areas like demolition, plumbing, electrical, or HVAC you can also reach to Mercer.

If you’re someone who still needs help with your own tornado recovery, you can dial 211. They’ll help connect you with a number of resources here in the Miami Valley.

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