Contact: Sherry Nicholson
Atlanta, April 23, 2020 — Georgia’s Red Cross is working closely with emergency partners and responding to the third round of severe weather to hit our state today since April 12th, as soon as it is safe for volunteers to do so.
With people across some half a dozen South Georgia counties reeling from devastating tornadoes this afternoon, the immediate priority is meeting emergency needs for those affected, including safe lodging, food, health resources, and emotional support.
Anyone in need of emergency help can contact the
Red Cross at 1-800-RedCross (1-800-733-2767).
The Red Cross is following public health guidelines to ensure the safety of local communities and our workforce during the coronavirus pandemic, while still providing help and hope when disasters strike. More than 100 volunteers are responding to current disasters in Georgia, but in this new environment, many of them are helping virtually.
Instead of opening shelters, we’re prioritizing emergency hotel lodging to make sure people have a safe place to stay if they can’t return home after a disaster. Last night, Georgia’s Red Cross provided hotel lodging and meals for 168 people affected by previous storms at 21 locations across the state.
The safety of our workforce and clients remains a top priority. Currently, Red Cross health services volunteers are calling those impacted to ask screening questions for COVID19 and find out about any immediate medical needs, such as replacement medications. We also have the ability to provide virtual mental health and spiritual care services. In addition, the Red Cross is working with partners and local emergency management officials to determine what other help is needed.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
If you are intent on supporting recent tornadoes and floods, you can help people affected by tornadoes and floods in the South by indicating “Southern Tornadoes & Floods” on the donation form on redcross.org, and printing and mailing to your local Red Cross chapter. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all designated funds will be used to support the tornado and flood-affected communities through emergency relief, recovery and preparedness efforts.
AFTER A TORNADO As people begin to deal with the aftermath of the tornadoes, the Red Cross reminds them they should return to their neighborhood only when officials say it is safe to do so. They should also:
- Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwaters.
- If you have children, leave them with a relative or friend while you conduct the first inspection of your home after the disaster.
- Check the outside of your home before you enter. Look for loose power lines, broken or damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, missing support beams and other damage. Ask a building inspector or contractor to check the structure before you enter.
- If power lines are down outside your home, don't step in puddles or standing water. Report them immediately to the power company.
- Don't cut or walk past colored tape that was placed over doors or windows to mark damaged areas, unless you've been told that it is safe to do so. If a building inspector has placed a color-coded sign on the home, don't enter until you get more information, advice, and instructions from your local authorities.
- If the power is out, use a flashlight. Don't use any candles or open flames for lighting.
- If you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, leave the property immediately, and get far away from it. Call the fire department after you reach safety.
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.