Red Cross Press Release:
ATLANTA, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 — Well before severe weather hit Georgia last night, Red Cross volunteers in communities statewide prepared to respond. We placed volunteers and shelters on stand-by, mobilized emergency supplies and monitored the progress of supercell storms headed our way with local emergency partners. Our Red Cross Situational Awareness Team accessed FEMA, GEMA and National Weather Service updates overnight and ensured a steady flow of critical information to Red Cross teams.
Before daybreak, as calls for help started to come in, Red Cross volunteers were responding to house fires caused by lightning strikes, tree damage to roofs and significant damage to dozens of homes in Fairburn (South Fulton County) and Buchanan (Haralson County). They also ensured food, clothing and shelter for 17 people displaced by an 8-unit apartment fire on Tara Blvd. in Clayton County. By mid-morning, disaster volunteer teams were moving through impacted areas to pinpoint and assess damage to homes and reach out to residents with resources and support. In some cases, health needs were identified and Red Cross nurses are following up.
Right now, we are providing meals, snacks and water to residents of the hard-hit Chestnut Ridge subdivision in Fairburn and caseworkers have begun meeting one-on-one with families at the scene to identify emergency needs. Volunteers are preparing to distribute comfort kits, tarps, flashlights and other bulk supplies and teams continue to monitor the final line of severe weather, as it passes through Southeast Georgia.
AFTER THE STORM: As residents begin the clean-up process, Emergency Response Vehicles will begin combing through hard hit areas to provide support with food and supplies. In the weeks and months ahead, the Red Cross will continue to be there in local communities to help disaster-stricken families get back on their feet. Anyone with immediate, disaster-caused needs should contact their local Red Cross Chapter. Visit http://www.redcross.ort/local/georgia. The Red Cross also urges families impacted by severe weather to:
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
- Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO TO HELP: Neighbors often ask how they can help people impacted by disasters. The best way is with a financial donation for Red Cross disaster relief, which is turned into the meals being served, a safe place to stay, clean-up supplies and so much more. All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by financial donations. You can make a donation today by:
- Phone: Call 1-800-RED-CROSS
- Text: Text REDCROSS to 90999 and donate $10
- Check: Mail to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 101508, Atlanta, GA 30392-1508
- Web: Visit www.redcross.org