Winter’s official start is still a few days away, but it is December and Mother Nature has decided not to follow the calendar and blanket Mid-Missouri with frigid forecasts before the Winter Solstice arrives.
Falling temperatures bring an increase in residential fires and this season is no different.
“It’s been a busy month,” said Phillip Iman, a chapter disaster specialist.
Volunteers have responded to 12 single-family fires in areas throughout the chapter in the first 11 days of December.
“Even though it’s been cold, our volunteers have not wavered in their commitment to our clients,” Iman said. “They’ve gone out at all hours of the day and night in this weather to provide our services to those who need them.”
Volunteers have been called to assist clients in nine of the chapter’s 21 counties.
Boone, Callaway and Crawford counties each have had two fires where the chapter received calls for assistance. The chapter responded to single events in Chariton, Dent, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage and Saline counties.
“Our volunteers are special people,” said Dave Griffith, the chapter’s executive director. “They have that extraordinary sense of commitment that will let them leave the comfort of their home to go out in bone-chilling temperatures to help another person or family who has just lost everything. And do it without hesitation.”
Volunteers opened 12 new cases in the first days of December. They assisted 34 new clients and spent $4,786.64 in disaster assistance. The total averages out to $398.89 per case and $140.78 per client.
“It just breaks my heart anytime we have to assist a family after a fire, but it is especially heart wrenching during the holiday season,” Iman said. “We want to do everything we can to ease the extra burden our clients experience just before Christmas.”
The last two weeks in November also were busy for the chapter.
Volunteers responded to fires in Crawford, Dent, Montgomery, Morgan, Phelps and Pulaski counties from Nov. 13 to Nov. 30.
The chapter received calls to assist at six single-family fires and one storm case. Volunteers opened seven new cases during the period, assisted 26 new clients and spent $2,657.76. That averages out to $379.68 per case and $102.22 per client.
“No matter how busy it gets, we will respond,” Iman said. “We are committed to helping those who need our services and setting them on the road to recovery.”