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The Fire This Time

Making the Best of Bad Situations

Recently, The Yard Ramp Guy proudly answered the call for assistance in a disaster recovery situation:

A fire that began in late November of 2016 in Sevier County of eastern Tennessee resulted in mass evacuations, loss of life, some 2,500 structures damaged or destroyed, and an estimated $500 million in damages.

The need for disaster services, material goods, and ongoing assistance remains long after the headlines fade. These include immediate and ongoing shelter, clothing, food, and water for those who’ve lost their homes and possessions; infrastructure repair (i.e., roads, electric grids); and business demolition and reconstruction.

Our understanding of the timeline and federal/state protocols:

  • In the first two weeks of a disaster, federal laws “enjoy” relatively relaxed statutes regarding acquisition of materials and services.
  • Beyond that timeframe, the laws tighten, with various agencies stepping in, which require layers of process and paperwork.

Bureaucracy happens. Though the scenario is not optimal, it does work. Recovery and rebuilding happen, too.

Some six weeks after the Tennessee fire, disaster recovery officials continued their calls for material and service assistance.

We received a request from Tennessee on January 13th. With the terrific people at Americorps, we worked through the bureaucratic maze. Their operation coordinated and executed the freight logistics for loading and off-loading. Our ramp was delivered on January 19th.

The recovery operation continues to use our yard ramp at the Sevier County donations warehouse, which needed access to the elevated loading bay.

Our appreciative contact at the warehouse reports that the yard ramp is a conduit for the donations that—all these weeks after the fire—continue to arrive, after which they’re categorized and prepared for distribution.

“It’s an honor to be asked and to contribute to the repair side of a disaster,” said Jeff Mann, The Yard Ramp Guy’s Founder and President. “They can keep the ramp as long as they need it.”

The Yard Ramp Guy
Our Yard Ramp, Put to Good Use



Okay, McCoy Fields . . .in our alphabetical quotation challenge, we C you this:

Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a different way to stand.Oprah Winfrey