When a tornado hit Tuscaloosa in April 2011, the BCM at LSU immediately reached out to us. They wanted to assist with disaster relief/recovery efforts. Being so close to New Orleans, they were well experienced and equipped for disaster relief work. LSU BCM has a chainsaw/clean up and recovery unit made up of college students trained by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) and they were ready to put their training into action.
We arranged the trip and the LSU unit was on the scene very quickly. When they arrived, they informed us that they had brought “Katrina cots” with them that had been purchased and brought to LSU BCM for team use during Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. I do not know who purchased or provided the cots initially, nor do I know how many teams slept on the cots.
During their trip to Tuscaloosa, the LSU team slept on the cots. They left them with us for future teams to use as they came to assist with clean up.
We hosted roughly a half-dozen teams that summer for clean up/recover efforts. Many of the teams utilized the cots during their time with us. Once we stopped hosting teams, we stored the well-used cots for future use.
Fast forward to October 2015. When the UA BCM was recently called on to send a disaster relief team to South Carolina to assist with flood recovery, we broke out the cots. We took the best 11 remaining cots with us so our team could sleep on them. I shared the story of the cots with an SBDR disaster relief leader in Manning, S.C., and offered to leave the cots if he thought they could be of use. He said they would love to have them to offer future teams.
Paying it forward, we left the cots.