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Following damage reported in several counties after Hurricane Irma moved through Georgia this week, the American Red Cross is providing comfort and hope to people affected statewide. The Red Cross will continue to work with emergency partners to coordinate relief efforts in local communities as residents begin the clean-up and recovery process.   

Today, disaster volunteer teams are mobilizing to begin visiting impacted areas to pinpoint and assess damage to homes and reach out to residents with resources and support. Since the severe weather began on Monday, the Red Cross in Georgia and its partners have:

  • Served more than 71,300 meals and 142,630 snacks.
  • Provided more than 18,350 overnight stays to 6,600 people in 44 evacuation centers. As of today, 13 Red Cross shelters remain open statewide.
  • Mobilized 495 trained Red Cross disaster workers to support severe weather relief efforts.

When word came to evacuate Hinesville, Georgia, Lular Brown and her son Ron knew they would be leaving their home for the American Red Cross evacuation center at the Columbus Civic Center in Columbus, Georgia. They joined their community neighbors for the almost four-hour bus ride to safety.

“The most important lessons we have learned from previous hurricane evacuations is that safety is most important and leaving early is critical,” said Ron. “I must have electricity for my oxygen machine,” added Lular as she adjusted her nasal cannula. “Red Cross nurses and shelter workers make me feel safe in the middle of all this chaos and I am so grateful for all they have done to help my family and me – they are my angels,” she said, holding the hand of Heidi Bassano, Red Cross volunteer shelter manager, from Atlanta, GA.   “She makes me feel safe.”

As residents return home, assess the storm damage and begin cleaning up, Red Cross suggests the following steps for inspecting and cleaning your home:

  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.
  • Follow these tips for inspecting your home’s structure and utilities & systems after a storm.
  • Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.

Anyone with immediate, disaster-caused needs should contact their local Red Cross chapter. Visit http://www.redcross.org/local/georgia.

HOW YOU CAN HELP  All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible through the generosity of the community. The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.