VCA Responds To Tornado That Claimed Two
Karl Littlman, president of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA), and David Gorin, executive director of VCA, sent out a message to members following the fatal tornado that struck a Virginia campground Thursday (July 24). Their message is below:
By now many of you have heard about the tornado that ripped through a part of Cherrystone Family Campground about 8:30 this morning. The latest reports indicate that 2 people were killed and at least 20 injured in the park. There was considerable destruction of campers and RVs, cabins, cars and of course trees in much of the park.
I know all of the members of the VCA join in extending our condolences the families of those killed. And we offer our fervent prayers for speedy recovery of all those injured. Additionally, VCA stands ready to assist Cherrystone in any way it can to respond to this terrible event, to assist their campers as necessary, and to help assure that this outstanding camp resort might possibly get back on track at least partially to serve some of the thousands of visitors who were planning on vacationing at Cherrystone through the end of this summer. We’ve no doubt that the Ballard family that owns the park and managers James Hopkins and Mabel Harrison and the entire Cherrystone family will pull together to get Cherrystone back in business and serving its loyal guests as soon as possible.
This event surely underlines the need for park owners to be certain that they have an emergency plan in place, that employees are trained and drilled to implement the plan, and that the park has a system for monitoring weather on a regular basis and alerting campers of any potential weather issues. And of course, reviewing park insurance coverages is always a good idea.
Tornadoes are not frequent occurrences in this area but are devastating as we see today. Tracking weather and alerting campers of any possible problems is the best way to try to avoid or reduce the personal devastation, deaths and injuries. Expect the unexpected is the best rule of thumb when it comes to being prepared.
The VCA is scheduled to hold its Fall Convention and Trade Show at Cherrystone in September – the first time we were heading to the Eastern Shore. It would be great for all members of VCA to attend the convention as a sign of support for Cherrystone and its campers. In addition, the meeting will open on Sept. 21 at Tall Pines Harbor Campground, about 45 minutes from Cherrystone; Tall Pines recently had its own natural diseaster being hit big time by hurricane Sandy in 2012. Hope we’ll see everyone there September 21 to 23 in a show of solidarity and support for the VCA members on the Eastern Shore.