Volunteers: Sign up before you show up

Volunteers: Sign up before you show up

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Numerous volunteer efforts have been made across Petal and Hattiesburg in the wake of the tornado that hit the Pine Belt Jan. 21.

However, some volunteers have been asked to hold off on any sort of cleanup efforts in other affected areas. Officials with William Carey University in Hattiesburg have asked volunteers to hold off coming to campus due to safety concerns.

Emergency officials are working tirelessly in areas that are affected, and need the ways cleared so they can get to those in need.

While the cities of Hattiesburg and Petal do appreciate the help volunteers are offering, they ask that the proper channels be taken.

"We want people to go through Volunteer Hattiesburg," said Hattiesburg Mayor Public Relations Coordinator Chinika Hughes. "Going through Volunteer Hattiesburg will help keep everyone organized so they know the best places to go. We also ask people to stay away from areas people workers are trying to restore power, as there is a risk for electric shock."

Registration centers will be setup Tuesday at 410 S. Tipton Street starting at 9 a.m. and Petal Upper Elementary school at 11 a.m. You can also call (601)-545-7141 to register.

For those looking to help those affected in Petal, Mayor Hal Marx said the place to start is the Petal Civic Center, located at 712 A S Main Street.

"We are definitely accepting volunteers, but we want people to go to the civic center and talk to Tom Hardges, our recreation director," Marx said. "The civic center has been designated as a place to coordinate volunteer efforts and drop off donations. Any volunteers should check in there so we can keep track of everything going on and know people are going to areas where they are needed, but also safe."

As of Tuesday morning, two volunteer efforts have been organized for the cities of Hattiesburg and Petal.

Anyone hoping to volunteer in Hattiesburg can show up at East Jerusalem Baptist Church at 410 South Tipton Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can call at 601-606-3523 or email at vrchattiesburg@gmail.com.

Volunteers looking to help in Petal should meet at The Petal Civic Center at 9 a.m. Monday-Saturday beginning Wednesday. The phone number is 601-606-7465 and you can email vrcpetal@gmail.com.

For other way to help storm victims, click here.