American Red Cross begins client casework in Southeast
More than 430 volunteers and staff aid in Red Cross response
ATLANTA, September 27, 2009– The American Red Cross began client casework today as preliminary damage assessment shows that nearly 2,000 homes have been affected by flooding in 20 counties in the Southeast.
Ron Kitchens, who lives in Austelle, Ga., returned earlier this week to find flood waters had lifted his one-story ranch off its brick-and-mortar foundation and floated it down the street. The home now rests in the middle of the dead-end road.
Despite the fact that Kitchens and his wife can’t enter the house, they remain upbeat.
“We’re a lot luckier than some. We got out alive,” Kitchens said as he sifted through a Red Cross clean-up kit. “You gotta keep living. You gotta keep going.”
The Red Cross continues to provide shelter, food, mental health counseling and emotional support for residents throughout the affected areas.
Thirteen Red Cross disaster assessment teams surveyed homes again Sunday. Preliminary reports indicate that 1,939 homes in Georgia have been affected; 459 of which are destroyed, 517 with major damage.
Through mobile outreach into flood-affected areas, Red Cross caseworkers are connecting one-on-one with people in need and providing financial assistance for food, clothing, shelter and health-related concerns.
Along with providing emotional support, caseworkers can direct clients to recovery resources in the community, including Red Cross Distribution Centers for clean-up supplies (mops, brooms, pails, etc.) and personal hygiene items.
The Red Cross is working with emergency partners in the hard-hit communities of Marietta, Powder Springs and Austell to establish Distribution Centers for clean-up items and bottled water, which will be replenished throughout the day (Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.):
o Lawrenceville Fire Dept. Station 20
1801 Curse Road
Lawrenceville,, GA 30044
o Powder Springs Police Department
4483 Pineview Drive
Powder Springs, GA 30127
o Best Buy – Douglasville
6875 Douglas Blvd.
Douglasville, GA 30135
o Austell Shopping Center
5875 Love St.
Austell, GA 30168
Since flooding began through Sunday morning, the Red Cross:
• Has provided nearly 1,500 overnight shelter stays for about 500 affected residents and has provided more than 9,500 meals
• Has more than 430 volunteers and staff from 18 states on the ground in affected areas to support the disaster-caused needs of clients
• Has 21 Emergency Response Vehicles serving as mobile and fixed site feeding stations
• Currently, the Red Cross has two shelters open in Cobb County and Cherokee County:
o Cobb County Civic Center
548 South Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30060
o Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency (South Annex)
7545 Main St. Building 200
Woodstock, GA 30188
• Has provided more than 15,000 bulk items including bleach, comfort kits, clean-up kits and bottled water.
The U.S. government has declared 14 of the 20 affected counties in Georgia as federal disaster areas – Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Stephens and Walker.
How to Help
1. Donate to the Red Cross. You can help people affected by disasters like the current floods by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS
2. Donate blood. The need for blood is constant and the Southern Blood Services Region is committed to continuing to provide blood and blood products to those in need at all times. Visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find a drive near you.
3. Donate your time. Sign up as a Red Cross volunteer. Visit http://www.redcross.org.
For continuous updates visit http://newsroom.redcross.org.