Join us Tuesday, February 16th, at 1:00 PM as We Welcome Tornado Survivors to Their New Home on Facebook Live
It's not everyday that you get to meet a real survivor. However, Christine Creager and her daughter, Kansas, are both survivors.
On the evening of May 27th, 2019, they were getting ready for bed when they heard the weather alarm on Christine’s phone. They turned on the TV to see what was happening only to find that multiple tornadoes were being reported around the area. They gathered up some belongings, along with their cat, and put them in the basement just in case. At first, they were in a bit of denial that anything serious would happen. However, they were watching McCall Vrydaghs on WHIO reporting on the approaching tornadoes. McCall’s words became very emotional about what was happening on the ground and Christine could hear a change in the wind outside. She and her daughter knew that it was time to head to the basement.
They were terrified as they listened to the howling wind. The roof creaked and the glass in their home was blowing out. They were wondering if they would be crushed by the basement ceiling. Even their cat was howling with fear as they huddled on the basement floor, arms wrapped around each other, praying and wondering if this was the end. The worst part for Christine was hearing her daughter screaming in terror. Christine will never be able to forget that experience.
Emerging after the storm passed, Christine and Kansas found that their home had been destroyed. The roof was almost completely gone, holes appeared in the ceilings, the porch was heavily damaged, many windows were gone, the garage was heavily damaged, and the rain was pouring into the house. The water eventually caused extensive mold throughout most of the house as well as flooding in the basement. Because of the mold, it was determined it would be better to demolish the home and build a new one. Christina’s words tell the story best:
“I really don’t know what we would have done without Habitat’s help. I was an uninsured homeowner and did not have the resources to start over. Habitat developed a plan and with the help of many gracious volunteers and my caseworker with the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Group, Habitat was able to build us a brand-new house! We are so very grateful and thankful for Habitat, and the organizations and volunteers in our community that are ready to pitch in and help in a moment’s notice. It really was so inspiring!”
Funding was provided by the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Group, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton through a partnership with CareSource. Habitat for Humanity managed the project, however, getting the work completed required Habitat volunteers as well as dedicated volunteers from the SouthBrook Christian Church Disaster Response Team.
Logan Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. donated and installed a new HVAC system in the home.
According to Norm Miozzi, Habitat of Greater Dayton’s Executive Director, “Helping families like Christine and her daughter recover from the tornadoes not only puts them on a path to a strong, stable future, it helps to reestablish the neighborhood in which they live. Providing strength and stability through homeownership is what Habitat does, it is our mission.”
About the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Operations Group
The MVLTROG is comprised of non-profit and faith-based organizations in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies working together to assist survivors of the May 27, 2019 Memorial Day Tornadoes with accessing community resources in the Miami Valley of southwest Ohio. Their Mission: To provide coordinated long-term recovery management for Miami Valley, OH residents and provide additional long-term assistance to individuals affected by the tornadoes who do not have adequate personal resources for basic needs as a result of the disaster. Individuals and organizations that are interested in volunteering, contributing professional services or money towards the recovery efforts can visit the MVLTROG online at MVstrong.org.