In the days after Hurricane Michael, the people of the Wiregrass began picking up the pieces of their lives, scattered about by the storm’s destructive winds like the many trees that fell upon roads and homes.
However, they are not alone in the recovery process as one group seeks to help them: Sheep Dog Impact Assistance.
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance is an organization based on disaster response and is equipped with the skill sets of its staff, made up of veterans and first responders. Their purpose is to give back, embodied in their slogan: “Helping Others is a Way of Life.”
Over the past week, they have been assisting with Hurricane Michael clean-up in Alabama.
“We’ve been in Dothan,” said Sgt. Maj. Lance Nutt, founder and president of SDIA. “We’ve been in Columbia, Gordon, and we now have teams down in Marianna, Florida just south of here, and the need is pretty great in that area all the way down to Mexico Beach and obviously Panama City, so we’re going to shift some of our efforts into that area this afternoon and tomorrow.”
Over the past eight years, the non-profit organization helped 7,500 people and responded to several major natural disasters like hurricanes Harvey and Maria in Texas and Puerto Rico.
“This is officially our 32nd major disaster over the last eight years that we’ve participated in, and it’s a simple fact of when the need is there and if we hear about extensive damage and people struggling and suffering, that will set us motion for deploying into whatever the need might be,” Nutt said.
In the Wiregrass, SDIA has assisted 192 people, removed 87 trees, cleared 94 properties of trees and debris, covered 7 leaking roofs, distributed 153 pounds of food and 11 cases of water, and distributed 40 pounds of cleaning and hygiene supplies.