In 2018, trained volunteers from Georgia helped more than 4,000 families statewide; deployed 742 times for relief operations in U.S.
Atlanta, December 6, 2018 -- In a second consecutive year of record-breaking disasters, Georgians were among millions of people from coast to coast who turned to the American Red Cross for shelter, food and comfort.
Massive wildfires scorched more than 8.5 million acres in California alone. Six major hurricanes impacted the United States in just three months, devastating communities in Southwest Georgia and across nine states and U.S. territories. Red Cross volunteers provided crisis counseling and other support to communities affected by six tragic shootings, including those in Parkland, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Thousand Oaks, California.
Across the country, this year, the Red Cross mobilized more than 14,000 disaster workers—90 percent volunteers—who:
o Served more than 8.2 million meals and snacks with partners
o Distributed more than 2.2 million relief items
o Provided more than 290,000 overnight shelter stays with partners
o Made more than 188,000 health and mental health contacts to provide support and care
o Provided recovery support for tens of thousands of households rebuilding their lives
In 2018 volunteers responded to 2,399 emergencies and disasters and assisted 4,007 families following hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and both single and multi-family fires. Notable among them were:
Hurricane Michael (October 10th), The third strongest hurricane in U.S. history. More than 640 Red Cross disaster workers from Georgia and other states helped families and individuals in hard-hit southwest and central counties by:
o Providing 2,844 overnight shelter stays to 847 people
o Serving 204,358 meals and snacks and distributing 7,000 cases of water
o Distributing more than 80,617 emergency supplies (such as clean-up kits and bleach, tarps, work gloves and trash bags, shovels and rakes, etc.) to 5,252 households
o Making 8,553 health and mental health contacts
EF2 Tornado (March 19th and 20th), Several rounds of severe weather moved through Georgia with tornados, high winds, hail and large amounts of rain. Hardest hit were South Fulton County’s Chestnut Ridge neighborhood and the City of Buchanan in Haralson County. More than 50 disaster workers responded after the storm to help 78 families (300 individuals). Volunteers provided 683 meals and 1843 snacks, distributed 356 bulk items, 83 comfort kits and provided a combined total of 27 health and mental health contacts.
Budgetel Fire (March 10th), Three Red Cross and Community shelters were opened to assist 73 families (190 individuals) displaced after the Budgetel Extended Stay Hotel in Cobb County caught fire. All told, around 100 disaster workers worked with community partners to provide 238 shelter stays, serve 1,010 meals and 2,347 snacks, distribute 218 bulk items and provide 190 health services and 380 mental health contacts.
Home Fires Most Frequent Disaster
Throughout the year, Disaster Action Teams from the Red Cross of Georgia responded to more home fires than any other Red Cross region across the country. So far in 2018, that is 2,397 home fire and multi-family fire responses and with them, Red Cross volunteers have assisted 13,353 individuals.
As part of the Red Cross campaign to reduce deaths and injuries related to home fires by 25% by the year 2020, Red Cross volunteers across the country installed more than 400,000 free smoke alarms and 12,108 in Georgia homes in 2018. Additionally, Georgia's Red Cross has made 9,954 children in grades three through five better prepared for emergencies and disasters, with the Pillowcase Project: a three-step curriculum - learn, act, share - where participants learn what they need to do to stay safe during an emergency, like a home fire.
How You Can Help
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. Visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation today. The American Red Cross also needs more Disaster Action team volunteers. To join, please visit 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.