Lowe’s serves communities by lending a helping hand when a disaster threatens and in the difficult recovery that follows. By partnering with the First Response Team of America, we’re able to provide additional help where and when it’s needed most – in the first few hours and days after a disaster.
Founded in 2007, the First Response Team works alongside local agencies to help save lives and provide assistance in the immediate wake of disasters, when communities often must fend for themselves because the resources necessary for rescue and recovery are damaged, inaccessible or unavailable. Using specialized trucks and equipment, the team responds to major disasters with support services that include opening roadways, performing search and rescue operations and providing temporary power solutions.
In 2013, the First Response Team assisted 16 communities impacted by major disasters and more than 300 local Lowe’s Heroes worked alongside the team to help homeowners in Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado.
National partners since 2012, the First Response Team and Lowe’s help communities take their first steps toward recovery. In addition to a $500,000 grant, Lowe’s lends the support of Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers. In 2013, the First Response Team assisted 16 communities impacted by major disasters and more than 300 local Lowe’s Heroes worked alongside the team to help homeowners in Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado.
After heavy spring storms, record floods submerged hundreds of homes in Chillicothe and Rome, Illinois. Lowe’s volunteers from Peoria County stores joined the First Response Team to clear roads, provide access to homeowners and help clean up their properties.
By studying weather patterns and communicating with leading meteorologists at The Weather Channel, the First Response Team anticipates where a disaster is likely to strike and gets into position nearby. Just two hours after an EF-5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, the First Response Team was on the scene digging through rubble for survivors at Plaza Towers Elementary School.
Team members slept in their truck for four days and went from home to home supporting search and rescue efforts. After the initial emergency response, the team remained in Oklahoma for three months to assist local families in 10 cities, including Moore, Shawnee and El Reno, each struck by massive tornadoes. Lowe’s Heroes joined the team to distribute relief supplies to hundreds of homeowners and help families clear homesites.
A few months later, Lowe’s teamed up with the First Response Team again after Colorado experienced its worst flooding since 1976. The team stayed for two months, clearing debris, building temporary evacuation bridges, rebuilding roads and cleaning up homeowners’ properties in the cities of Lyons and Longmont and Larimer County.
The team finished the year in Washington, Illinois, supporting search and rescue operations after a deadly EF-4 tornado destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. The team worked day and night for a month, helping dozens of families clean up their homes. In doing so, it reunited several homeowners with pets that were trapped under debris.
In total, the First Response Team helped more than 15,000 people and saved 16 communities nearly $3 million through its support in 2013.
First Response Team of America
Lowe’s Heroes partner with the First Response Team of America to deliver critical assistance to homeowners during their darkest hours in the wake of a disaster.
Lowe’s donated rakes, shovels and gloves to the First Response Team, and volunteers helped families pick up the pieces and begin anew after spring storms flooded towns in Illinois.
Lowe’s and the First Response Team helped homeowners recover valuable belongings and clear their homesites after a deadly EF-4 tornado destroyed hundreds of properties in Washington, Ill.
With the help of Lowe’s Heroes in Washington, Ill., the First Response Team cleared about 20 properties in a week. The team remained in Washington for more than a month.
When an EF-5 tornado rumbled through Moore, Okla., Tad Agoglia and the First Response Team was stationed just 30 miles away. The team slept in their truck for four days and remained in Oklahoma for three months to assist local families.
Within two hours of the tornado touching down, the First Response Team was at Plaza Towers Elementary School digging through rubble to search for survivors. Seven children were killed when the tornado destroyed the school.
Tad Agoglia and the First Response Team helped clear flood debris and clean up Main Street in Lyons, Colo., so businesses could reopen and life could begin to get back to normal.
Assisting Flood Victims