Disaster Relief for Perryton


With the Perryton community recovering from the tornado that damaged the town on Thursday, first responders and volunteers from all over Texas have shown up to provide support.

Shelby Huff, the Service Extension Region Representative at The Salvation Army, and her team of volunteers have been dispatched to Perryton to provide citizens with disaster relief.

“Right now, our main focus is to provide emotional and spiritual care,” Huff said. “ When a person goes through a disaster, they need some extra care for their bodies, mind, and soul. We have a team that is going around the damaged areas and are talking with people, praying with them, offering cold water, and making sure that they are okay.”

Salvation Army Volunteers from all over Texas have shown up to Perryton to provide their help.

“As of right now, I have four volunteers and they are from The Salvation Army Wichita Falls Corp. We had two from the Amarillo Corp. on Saturday,” Huff said. “We will be calling upon the Pampa Service Unit Volunteers later this week because the State is putting together a resource center where all entities that can provide disaster relief will be located at.”

When it comes to disaster relief, Huff is no stranger to it. However, the damage the tornado caused in Perryton is unlike anything Huff has seen.

“I have been deployed to two different hurricane disaster reliefs with the Salvation Army. This is a lot worse than the damage I saw with the hurricanes,” Huff said. “The damaged area of town is not large, but it is a lot of disaster. Homes have been completely taken off their foundations. Mobile homes are completely off their wheels. People’s belongings are strung everywhere. It is quite a lot of damage.”

While providing relief throughout the weekend, Huff noted one instance that stuck with her.

“The tornado hit on Thursday, between 5 and 6 pm. On Saturday, the tornado sirens went off again that evening because of a storm that was rolling through. That re-traumatized the victims,” Huff said. “It was quite scary for them.”

In addition to The Salvation Army offering aid, various organizations have come to Perryton to aid in disaster relief as well. The Southern Baptist of Texas Convention Disaster Relief, the Texas Baptist Men, Mercy  Chefs, and Operation BBQ Relief are some of the many organizations that have been providing resources to the town, with the Texas Division of Emergency Management overseeing it all.

“There have been so many resources come to this area,” Huff said. “It is truly a testament to the small-town mentality. We are going pitch in and help everybody that needs our help.”

If you would like to donate to help the Perryton community, visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and select Perryton / Ochiltree County Tornado (June 2023).