Atlanta, October 25, 2018 — On October 10, Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, FL as a strong Category 4 storm, then sliced through Southwest and Central Georgia, resulting in wind damage, flooding and massive power outages. Early estimates indicate more than 900 homes in Georgia have been heavily damaged or destroyed and Red Cross disaster workers – most volunteers - are working around the clock to respond to emergency needs in hard-hit communities.
How the Red Cross is Helping
Feeding, sheltering and the distribution of emergency supplies continue to be top Red Cross priorities. Currently, more than 300 trained Red Cross workers from 43 states are based at the Georgia operation headquarters in Albany and dispatched daily to southwestern counties to help people in need. The Red Cross is also working with community volunteers in hard-hit areas to help deliver services. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit www.redcross.org/georgia for more information.
During the last two weeks, the Red Cross of Georgia has provided more than 2,500 shelter stays for those impacted by Michael in as many as 11 emergency shelters run or supported by the Red Cross. Last night, 63 people received food, supplies and health and emotional support at an area shelter open in Albany at Second Mt. Zion Church.
To find an open Red Cross shelter, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RedCross or view locations from the Red Cross Emergency App (available for free on the Apple App Store or on Google Play).
Damage assessment teams continue to work in the field to collect information on pockets of need and share information to connect people with help. Currently, 15 Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are on the ground in southwest Georgia delivering food, water and supplies. To date, volunteers have distributed more than 108,000 meals, 78,000 shelf stable meals and 240,000 snacks to people living in communities most heavily impacted by the storm.
Mobile outreach has also been the means to distribute some 26,000 emergency relief supplies in communities, including shovels, rakes, buckets and bleach. Yesterday, the Red Cross also opened a Point of Distribution (POD) and Emergency Aid Center in Donalsonville (Seminole County) and will open a second in Albany tomorrow. Health and mental health volunteers will also be available to support disaster-impacted residents.
Big disasters create more needs than any one organization can meet, and the Red Cross works closely with government and community partners to coordinate relief efforts.
o Here in Georgia, the Red Cross is working with feeding partners such as Second Harvest, the Salvation Army, and Southern Baptist Disaster Services to prepare the meals served in Red Cross shelters and from mobile feeding trucks.
o The Red Cross is also coordinating with other organizations to help neighbors in need including the Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, Salvation Army, AME Church of Georgia and the Georgia Missionary Baptist Convention, who are providing volunteers, supplies and distribution points for meals.
o Currently, Georgia Emergency Management Agency has a Point of Distribution (POD) in Seminole County at Spring Creek Church in Donalsonville and is providing water, ice, meals ready to eat (MREs) and tarps. FEMA is standing up 7 Disaster Resource Centers in Dougherty, Early, Miller, Seminole, Baker, Decatur and Terrell counties where residents can register for assistance.
How You Can Help
Financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to the people who need it most. To make a financial donation: Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word MICHAEL to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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.