With the start of hurricane season just weeks away and coming off a rough 2017 season, a group of volunteers in western Massachusetts is looking to make the clean-up process quicker and easier.
"We need to be there for each other. For me, the satisfaction that I get is the smile on a person's face when they can take and they can see that someone's rebuilding their home," said George D'Astous with NEST.
Inside The Brewmaster's Tavern in Williamsburg, the New England Support Team, or NEST, meets.
Right now, they're in the infancy stages of becoming a non-profit organization, aimed at providing help when Mother Nature delivers her worst.
"The idea is to be a much quicker response than government or other agencies that have been around for lengths of time," D'Astous added.
D'Astous is the one who came up with the idea after seeing the devastation Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma all left in their wake last year.
"Bring hope to fellow Americans through natural disasters," D'Astous explained.
Cleanup and restoration continues there, but D'Astous said that NEST is designed to speed up that clean-up process by sending licensed contractors not affiliated with government organizations to areas in need.
"NEST see's themselves as the first responders of disaster relief and they'll be working with emergency managers from across New England, so they know where they're needed when disaster strikes," D'Astous noted.
Eric Demers with NEST added, "We all know somebody who that's been through a difficult time."
Demers works for F.W. Webb. They're sponsoring NEST with all the HVAC supplies they'd need to make homes safe to live in.
"Any and all plumbing, heating, and HVAC equipment and parts and pieces they may need," Demers noted.
While hurricane season is less than two months away, the guys at NEST told Western Mass News they know disaster never sleeps.
"Hopefully, we'll never be needed, but in our particular case, if we get called, I may be in position to send two men, couple of trucks, some tools and equipment and do whatever we can to act like the first responder," said Jim Moran of NEST.
On Tuesday, May 15, NEST will be meeting in Chicopee at the Castle of the Knights looking to expand their network of contractors who'd be willing to help them in this endeavor. Any are welcome.
For more information, contact George D’Astous via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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