Tornadoes in Chattanooga, TN

Welcome to the first episode of a four-part mini-series featuring the work Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Relief is providing in the Southeast. Over Easter weekend, tornadoes swept through multiple states, leaving families and communities devastated. Kristy talks with staff on the ground about how each individual state was affected: Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana. This is the first time Samaritan’s Purse has responded in four states simultaneously after a disaster.

In this special feature, Kristy hears from Kristin Koning, a program manager for U.S. Disaster Relief, who’s now stationed in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kristin and her team mobilize day volunteers to help after the twister left a nine-mile path of destruction through the suburban area. These tornadoes compound on recent disasters in the state including the deadly March tornadoes that hit Nashville and COVID-19.


Kristy asks about restrictions and modifications in regards to coronavirus, for protection of both volunteers and the public. Kristin explains that all volunteers are checked for high temperatures, given masks, and organized in groups of no more than 10. Amidst these regulations, listen as she shares God’s faithfulness through stories of homeowners, staff, and volunteers.

“Through all the modifications, our mission remains the same: to bring hope and healing to those affected by this disaster. Our hope is to share the great love of Christ with them.” – Kristin Koning

Kristin talks about the overwhelming kindness of volunteers and thanks local news stations for sharing the volunteer opportunities with families in the area. Each person serving is eager to help their neighbors. With smaller teams, it allows for staff, homeowners, and volunteers to better know and serve one another.

Not only did the destructive tornadoes in Chattanooga, Tennessee take the lives of three people, but they completely destroyed 350 homes in Hamilton county—with nearly another 1,000 homes damaged. Please continue to pray for those that are impacted by the tornadoes in the Southeast.

An Inside Look

To learn more about U.S. Disaster Relief response to those affected by the storm-system, listen to episode 18, “In the News—Tornadoes in the South.”

Check out our website,, to stay up to date with stories of Samaritan’s Purse working to help families devastated by the tornadoes.

Are you interested in taking a look behind the scenes of the podcast? Follow us on Instagram at @onthegroundsp.