Athens, GA Monday, March 5, 2012 – As Georgians joined their neighbors across the South and Midwest in tallying this week’s widespread tornado damage, Red Cross chapters in more than a dozen states were hard at work in their communities, providing shelter, food and emotional support.
Red Cross damage assessment teams in Georgia worked with community partners to discover the full scope of the damage in counties impacted by this past Friday’s storms. Paulding County was hit hardest by the storms, with 85 homes affected. The Red Cross provided needed water and snacks in affected neighborhoods where clean-up efforts had begun. So far, seven families in Paulding and Fulton counties have turned to Red Cross for help with lodging, food and other basic necessities.
“Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this week’s severe storms,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the American Red Cross. “Our top priorities right now are making sure people have a safe place to stay, a warm meal and a shoulder to lean on as they begin to clean up their neighborhoods. The Red Cross is also working closely with our government and community partners to make sure everyone gets the help they need.”
The Red Cross has monitored severe weather in South Georgia throughout the recent events and has trained disaster volunteers from across the state to work stand-by shifts in case of a need. Damage to homes is now reported in northern Lowndes and Lanier counties and the Red Cross is working with local emergency management agencies to ensure that residents have a safe place to sleep. People can find Red Cross shelters open throughout the country by contacting local emergency officials, visiting http://www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). iPhone users can download a free Red Cross Shelter View app at http://apps.usa.gov/american-red-cross-shelter-view.
Those affected can let loved ones know they are safe by registering on the secure website, Red Cross Safe and Well, http://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php, where they can also update their Facebook and Twitter statuses to alert friends and family. Affected residents can also register by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). For those outside the disaster area, use Red Cross Safe and Well to find information about loved ones in the affected areas by using a phone number or local address. Smart phone users can visit http://www.redcross.org/safeandwell and click on the “List Yourself as Safe and Well” or “Search for Friends and Family” link.
If you or someone you know would like to help those affected by natural disasters, donations in support of the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Services are greatly appreciated. Please visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent directly to the East Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross at 490 Pulaski Street Athens, GA 30601 or by calling 706-353-1645.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org.