Atlanta, GA, July 23, 2018 – Volunteers from the American Red Cross Georgia Region stepped in to assist individuals and families with safe shelter, food, emergency supplies and health and emotional support after severe thunderstorms affected areas throughout the state on July 21 and July 22. As of today, nearly 50 families (more than 135 individuals) have received Red Cross assistance. Hardest hit was Early and Calhoun counties, where nearly 90 individuals received Red Cross assistance at a relief center staffed by Southwest Georgia volunteers, in Arlington. Additionally, families and individuals received Red Cross assistance in Habersham, Bibb, Dekalb, Clarke, Gilmer and Murray counties, including a family whose home caught fire due to the storm.
“This is what our volunteers are trained for, to be ready to assist those in need—whenever the time comes,” said Red Cross Georgia Region CEO, Terri Badour. “It takes a special person to drop what they are doing, often with very little notice, and help a total stranger. That’s why we are so grateful for all our dedicated Red Cross volunteers in the state of Georgia”
Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes and can spark home fires. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.
Everyone should know the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning:
Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
How to prepare for severe weather:
Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail.
Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm.
During a flood, boil tap water until water sources have been declared safe.
Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Remember: turn around, don’t drown.
Before a tornado, move to an underground shelter, basement or safe room. If none is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
If strong winds and flying debris occurs while driving, pull over and park, keep your seat belt on and engine running, and put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket.
Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies.
Put together an emergency preparedness kit.
Review the Be Red Cross Ready - Thunderstorm Safety Checklist.
The free Red Cross Emergency App is also available to locate open Red Cross shelters, customize weather alerts and learn safety tips to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe before, during and after any type of emergency or disaster—big or small. Download the Red Cross Emergency App from your app store or text “GETEMERGENCY” to 90999.
Anyone affected by severe weather and in need of assistance should call 1-800-Red-Cross and
people interested in training to respond to emergencies and disasters as a Red Cross volunteer can call the same number or visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.