Thanks to my Active Rain family....I got by with a little help from my friends.

Real Estate Agent with Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)


I get by with a little help from my friends.


5:45 am.  I awake to the sounds of tornado sirens screaming through the dark sky.  Annoyed, to say the least.  


7:00 am.  Sirens.  9:00 am, sirens.  10:30, sirens.  It continued all day, until the power lines were all blown away...and we were left in total darkness, but worst of all, silence.  I spent the day hiding in stairwells from funnel clouds above my office, to running from them on the road.  Fear...terror.


Living in Huntsville comes with lots of tornado warnings.  I’m used to it and have grown to not give it a second thought.  April 27, 2011 has forever changed my thoughts on sirens.  I’ll never hear another one and take it lightly.




April 28th I awoke, not knowing what “really” happened.   It wasn’t until I got in the car and heard the announcements on the radio of the disaster that had taken place, blocks from my home in all directions.  Bombs were dropping out of the sky, taking lives and exploding neighborhoods.  




We heard we would be without power for 5-7 days.  Many fled the area.  We chose to stay.  After seeing the devastation, guilt set in.  I felt SO lucky to have my home and my family and yet so guilty that I did still have my wonderful life.  I knew I had to help.  I knew I HAD to give back, or go insane.


I threw myself into helping others clean up what was their home and donating my time finding them a roof over their heads.  A place to recover and heal.  I needed this as much as these families needed my help.  





Our area has now been declared a Cat 1 disaster area...that’s what 9/11 and Katrina were ranked.  It is THAT bad.  Many of you have wanted to know what you can do to help.  I am researching now and will write a post tomorrow as to what our community truly needs.  I know the Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way can always use the help.    


Not having power and poor cell signals at best for days left me feeling very secluded.  My lifeline was my phone and the few Facebook updates I would get.  My phone email inbox became my saving grace when I was lucky enough to have a signal to read them.   Today, we are back with full power and tonight, Internet!!!



I want to thank each and everyone of my friends here in the Rain for all of the many emails, Facebook messages and phone calls.   Honestly, you brought a bit of sunshine to my life each day.  


For those that question WHY they would ever become a member of Active Rain, I’m here to say, this is why.  We are a community that cares about one another.  I have the Facebook, email and phone messages to prove it.




Thanks to my Active Rain family....I got by with a little help from my friends.  






Posted by


Courtesy of Elizabeth Cooper-Golden  Huntsville AL Realtor (R)

Broker/Owner @ Homes Realty Group

475 Providence Main Street   Suite 302                                                   

Huntsville, AL  35806

Huntsville Real Estate 

Search Huntsville AL MLS

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Mary Sheridan
Keller Willliams - 1033 Hamilton Place,Johnson City TN 37604 - Johnson City, TN
Creative Marketing, Buyer Agency 423-943-7655

Even with the pictures, it's hard to imagine what this must be like for so many.   Thank God you and many others are okay in spite of it all, and we'll continue to do what we can to help those who were not so blessed.  

May 04, 2011 06:33 AM #52
RhondaHeaslip NanaimoRealEstate
RE/MAX of Nanaimo - Nanaimo, BC

So glad to know you are okay and things are steadily improving. Hard to wrap my brain around what a horror you've been through!

May 04, 2011 07:06 AM #53
Joe Lane Richland
Kennewick Richland (and West) Pasco WA Homes For Sale - Richland, WA
WA Realtor, 509.438.9344

Well, may God bless you Elizabeth.  I hope you are still smiling like your AR avatar.  - Joe :)

May 04, 2011 07:42 AM #54
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Elizabeth, I am so glad you are ok, I thought about all of my friends in the hardest hit areas. What a brave woman you are, and those around you are lucky to have you to help them walk through this.

May 04, 2011 08:04 AM #55
Virginia (Ginger) Schott
Century 21 Geba Realty Assoc. - Port Jervis, NY
Assoc. Broker, CBR, CHMS

Elizabeth, I'm glad that you and your family are ok.  Looking at your pictures brought tears to my eyes, all over again.  Living in my area of NY, we don't deal with Natural Disasters that are even close to the scope of a C1.  Living on the Delaware River, we watch it everytime we get a big snow melt or heavy rains and worry about the town flooding, but even that is only a fraction of what many of you are experiencing right now.  It's comforting to know that people like you exist who are willing to help their neighbors.  Good Job! 

May 04, 2011 08:12 AM #56
Mindy Harden
RE/MAX Commonwealth - Richmond, VA

So happy that you and your family are all okay and so proud of what you are doing to help your neighbors!  You are exactly what being a REALTOR should be all about!  You go, girl!

May 04, 2011 08:18 AM #57
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Elizabeth, so glad you have power back on. It was no fun in 2004 to sit for days on end in the hot summer with no power. The devastation is just unbelievable. So thankful you and your family are ok, but your generous heart just won't let you sit still!


May 04, 2011 11:32 AM #58
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Elizabeth ~ I am so glad to hear that you and your family are safe and doing well.  Those photos are just horrible proof of the strength of Mother Nature.

May 04, 2011 01:48 PM #59
Jennifer Manchester
Suburban Properties of Charlotte, LLC - Mint Hill, NC
GRI, ePRO, ASP - Broker/Home Stager

Growing up in Florida I lived through a number of Hurricanes including the Big A (Andrew)  it never ceases to amaze me the kindness that can come from total strangers.  I am sure all those you helped will always remember your kindness.

May 04, 2011 01:52 PM #60
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon

Elizabeth:  What a touching blog.  Only through ActiveRain do I know people that have been hit by the tornados, and I love what you wrote - that ALONE is a great reason to join AR, so you can "get by with a little help from my friends."

May 04, 2011 03:12 PM #61
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Makes me sure life is random.  Surely, those folks in the ruined homes did nothing to warrant such misery and loss.  It's those like you, who skipped the bullet, who will lift them up until they can stand on their own.  Bless you Elizabeth.   

May 04, 2011 03:50 PM #62
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

Elizabeth - Am glad you and your family are safe.  Know you must be working long days helping some people start all over again.  Our prayers are with the people that have experienced such a vicious life changing weather pattern

May 04, 2011 06:38 PM #63
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I can't imagine the terror you must have felt that day. I wish you wouldn't feel guilty - you are there, pitching in to help those less fortunate. You being harmed as well would not help them one bit.

You and the others who are working hard for your neighbors are what epitomizes the spirit of America - I feel proud of you.

And I'm the one who feels guilty - for whining because it was snowing here. Big deal!

Stay safe - hug your loved ones - be thankful.

May 04, 2011 08:23 PM #64
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC

Tornados are so random -- one street devastated, a block away untouched.   We had some damage in Raleigh the week before, but ours were nothing like the monsters that hit Alabama.   

May 05, 2011 01:15 AM #65
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I am not sure which is worse the threat of tornados or earthquakes.  It is always something no matter where you live.  I am glad you are safe.  I believe for the most part people in this country are resiliant.  Although there is pain I believe Huntsville will bounce back better than ever.

May 05, 2011 05:50 AM #66
Debby Singleton
Springer Realty Group - Limerick, PA
Top Producer since 1993

The resiliancy of Americans is unmatched.   In disaster we draw together and support one another with no thought for race, religion, political affiliation, etc.   So proud to be an American and send prayers to all those who weren't as fortunate as you.   So glad you are safe.

May 05, 2011 09:52 AM #67
Mike Wong
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest

Elizabeth wow I had no idea you were in this area. I'm so relieved to hear that you are safe and doing well. Those photos just brought me back to reality. The photos with the US Flags just makes me think of one thing: perserverance. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the many affected by this.

May 05, 2011 04:45 PM #68
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

I remember your posts on Facebook about the status throughout the day. Glad you were okay. Im sure it was nerve racking with all the sirens and just not knowing if/when the tornado would hit. Sad to see all the destruction it left behind.

May 12, 2011 10:05 AM #69
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Elizabeth I want to apologize for responding late. Being that you are one of my favorites and FOREVER BE ONE OF MY FAVORITES HERE ON ACTIVE RAIN,I shouldn't responded immediately and I didn't-SORRY. But I am very happy to hear that you and the family are ok. And thank God for everyone who has supported you,the family and the community. Pray that every thing is well Elizabeth. Have a great weekend. Great post.

May 20, 2011 11:37 PM #70
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Beth, as I drive around, slowly I see signs of improvement, but it almost seems to be in slow motion.  Still the demolished homes, debris and people cleaning up.  Trucks are slowly picking up massive trees and debris from the road side, it's going to take a long time to recover and I think the signs of the devestation will be with us...time...undetermined.

May 30, 2011 11:20 AM #71
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