MOORE, Okla. – Evert Bopp is an Irishman with a big heart.
He sent his rapid response disaster communications team to Moore less than 48 hours after the twister hit, bringing internet access and communication to people who lost everything.
Bopp stayed behind in Ireland.
He chose to use the money he would have spent on a plane ticket to send more help.
Now he is in Oklahoma, finally getting a chance to see his work in action.
“I’ve come over now from Ireland to see what the situation is, where it’s still needed, if we`re needed anywhere else, trying to evaluate the ongoing need,” Bopp said.
Bopp and his non-profit organization Disaster Tech Lab have worked tragedies like the Haiti earthquakes and Superstorm Sandy.
He said seeing the damage in Oklahoma first-hand was very moving for him.
“Living in Europe, we get some flooding, some storms, but nothing of this scale,” Bopp said.
Thankfully most communication lines in Moore are back up and running.
Now Bopp will be packing up his equipment and moving it to another area that needs his help.
Disaster Tech Lab provides communication as simple as sending family and friends an e-mail saying they’re OK or as complicated as registering with FEMA and contacting their insurance company.
Bopp said he is proud to be a part of the Oklahoma recovery effort.
“Coming here and meeting with the volunteers that work here and evaluating and seeing that, no matter how small our contribution has been, to help the people here, that it actually is helping,” Bopp said.
Before he leaves, Bopp will be moving his team from Moore to Steelman Estates near Bethel Acres.
Any equipment that is not needed there will be put back into storage until it’s needed for the next disaster.