Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers continue to go out to all of those affected by the worst single day of tornadoes in our nation’s history. The attorneys and staff of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings have been actively participating in various relief efforts, donating time, goods, and money.
The information provided here highlights some of these efforts, and it is our hope that, through these efforts, we may continue to express our concern and support.
Given the scale of the devastation, recovery efforts will be prolonged. Our firm is taking a multi-pronged approach to an overall relief effort which is providing and will continue to provide immediate assistance, as well as provide a plan for longer-term activities. We recognize that communities outside of the State of Alabama suffered damage, but understand that the damage is not on the scale of that suffered in Alabama, where we believe our relief efforts as a firm should be focused. Our evolving plan includes the following activities:
A Home for the Holidays
There is no place like home for the holidays. But imagine the holidays without the home. This is the reality for many families across the South in 2011. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings has committed to making sure that a family who suffered the loss of their home in the tornadoes of April, 2011 will be home for the holidays in 2012. This area of our website will track the sponsorship and building of a tornado victim’s home through Habitat for Humanity throughout 2012. Check back often to see our progress.
Donation to Firm Employees: The Firm was fortunate not to experience any loss of life from the devastating storms. However, two employees lost their homes and others suffered property damage. Through cash donations made by our attorneys and staff, along with substantial donations of clothing, food, drinks, household items, transportation, and other needed items, the most pressing needs of the Firm’s employees were met. The remaining donated items were provided to relief organizations across the areas hit by the storms.
Donation to 2011 Alabama Tornado Relief Fund: The Firm made a significant donation to the Salvation Army’s 2011 Alabama Tornado Relief Fund. The Salvation Army’s 2011 Tornado Relief Fund was established to provide state-wide relief to those specifically impacted by the April, 2011 tornadoes.
Donation to DCH Foundation: The Firm’s longstanding client, DCH, established a fund through their Foundation to assist their employees affected by the tornadoes. The Tuscaloosa area was perhaps the most adversely affected by the storm. More than 200 DCH employees were directly impacted, many of them losing their homes. One employee was killed and another remains missing. In the six hours immediately following the storms, DCH Hospitals treated more than 900 individuals. The Firm made a contribution to the Foundation’s Fund and designated the donation to be in memory of Sam M. Phelps. Mr. Phelps served on the DCH Healthcare Authority Board of Directors from 1973 until 1999, the last 23 years as Chairman. Mr. Phelps’ son, Scott Phelps, formerly was a partner in the Firm.
BABC Volunteer Team: We believe the best and most direct way we made a meaningful difference to those in need was through the giving of our time. In order to provide an easy way for our attorneys and staff to volunteer, a small group inside the Firm was charged with organizing a BABC Volunteer Team that worked through the 2011 Alabama Tornado Relief Project to identify volunteer opportunities across the areas impacted by the tornadoes. In order to facilitate the opportunity to be a part of the Firm’s Team, the Firm approved a full-day of paid time off for any employee in any office of the Firm participating in one of the many planned BABC Volunteer Days.
Other Volunteer Opportunities: If you would like to make a contribution or to volunteer, listed below is partial list of the many organizations coordinating on-going various relief and assistance activities.
USDA Approves Disaster Food Assistance for Alabama Disaster-Designated Counties
Public Information Outreach: Attorneys in the Firm, led by partner Katherine Henry, are preparing informational pieces regarding procedures for working with various agencies, including FEMA, insurance companies, and others. These documents will be posted on the Firm’s website and will be submitted for distribution and publication to various support and media organizations.
Location Change for Previously Announced Free Legal Assistance Clinic
The Magic City Bar Association and the Birmingham Bar Association (BBA) free legal assistance clinic scheduled for Thursday, May 26 has been moved to Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, 452 9th Avenue in Pleasant Grove. Original location was Bethel Baptist Church in Pleasant Grove, located at 639 9th Way.
The other legal assistance clinic to be held Tuesday, May 24 at Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Pratt City, located at 316 Ave. U, remains as scheduled at that location.
The clinics will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyer Program are providing more than 100 lawyers to help storm victims with landlord/tenant agreements, insurance, contract and other legal issues; as well as helping to replace vital documents such as birth/death certificates, driver's licenses and social security cards. They will also assist with the completion of FEMA forms and insurance claims.
“Our lawyers are completely committed to providing their services and their financial support to see that our citizens impacted by the tornadoes can get their lives back in order as quickly as possible,” said Diandra S. Debrosse, Magic City Bar Association president.
From the National Weather Service Regional Office Southern Region Headquarters: