SEPT. 12, 2005
from the City of Albany
STATEMENT BY MAYOR WILLIE ADAMS, JR.
We all have watched with horror as this historic and tragic event – the ravage caused by Hurricane Katrina -- has devastated communities and families like no disaster in our nation’s history. In Albany and Dougherty County, we certainly know first-hand from the Flood of ‘94 what it is like for a storm to cause human and physical destruction – and we know what it meant for our community to receive assistance from all over the country.
I want to thank the churches, companies, organizations and individuals who have pitched in to help. There are many evacuees in our hotels, in our homes, and in the American Red Cross shelter/assistance center at Beattie Road Church of Christ. We need to continue to be mindful of the needs of our newest residents and do what we can locally for them. Many of these people are experiencing a sense of desperation because there is no way for them to know how long they are stranded, and because many of them don’t know the fates of loved ones back home.
RESOURCES AND INFORMATION TO ASSIST KATRINA VICTIMS
In an effort to assist our neighboring states affected by Hurricane Katrina, please refer to the following information. Please note that some of the contact numbers may be down intermittently due to disaster related utility issues.
All displaced residents requesting assistance are advised to register with FEMA at (800) 621-FEMA or www.fema.gov. This is mandatory to opening the door to federal assistance. To learn of all the benefits available to the evacuees, i.e. federal assistance, unemployment assistance, school for children, etc, evacuees should visit the American Red Cross Shelter at the Beattie Road Church of Christ.
Other federal relief programs
Katrina Missing Persons Hotline: (888) 544-5475
If you need to report a missing loved one in Alabama, Louisiana or Mississippi, contact:
Alabama -- (866) GET-INFO
Louisiana -- (225) 925-7345
Mississippi -- (866) 438-4636
Family registry and locator: www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/locate
Medical assistance for displaced residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama: (866) 752-3442
American Red Cross shelter information: (404) 575-3734/www.state.ga.us
Education and child care: www.gadoe.org
Employment search: www.laworks.net
Alabama – (866) 234-5382
Mississippi – (601) 321-6420
Louisiana – (25) 342-2840
Personal identification replacement: www.dds.ga.gov
o Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov
o Georgia Emergency Management Agency: www.gema.state.ga.us
o Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness: www.ohsep.louisiana.gov
o Mississippi Emergency Management Agency: www.msema.org
o Alabama Emergency Management Agency: www.ema.alabama.gov
WHAT ALBANY CITIZENS CAN DO TO ASSIST HURRICANE KATRINA VICTIMS
EXAMPLES OF WHAT ALBANY CITIZENS, CHURCHES AND BUSINESSES ARE DOING TO ASSIST HURRICANE KATRINA VICTIMS
· Attractions. The Parks at Chehaw, Flint RiverQuarium and Albany YMCA are offering free admission to the for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
· Clothing bank. Evacuees can get free clothes from Faith & Prayer Training & Deliverance Ministries, Inc., 811 West Highland Ave., from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Info: 446-6250.
· Day care. The following Boys & Girls Clubs will be open (free of charge) to take children of families that have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The children must be at least six (6) years old and a parent or guardian must show ID when dropping off children. Snacks are provided.
· East Albany Unit – 1112 Inverness Road – Phone: 439-4386 – Hours: 3 pm to 8 pm, Mon.-Fri.
· Jefferson Street Unit – 1309 Jefferson Street – Phone: 435-2546 – Hours: 3 pm to 8 pm, Mon.-Fri.
· Girls Inc. – 1112 Inverness Road – Phone: 439-4917 – Hours: 3 pm to 6 pm, Mon.-Fri.
· Jane Willson Unit – 1012 Holloway Ave. – Phone: 420-5580 – Hours: 3 pm to 8 pm, Mon.-Fri.
· Lee County Unit – 101 Hickory Grove Road – Phone: 436-1216 or 291-6883 – Hours: 3 pm to 6:30 pm Mon.-Fri.
· Education. Albany State University is mobilizing efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. Assistance offered by Albany State includes a waiver of out-of-state tuition, and tuition and fee deferral for students who have either paid tuition or received financial aid at their home institution. In addition, every effort will be made to provide housing on a space-available basis. Students will need to show proof of enrollment at an accredited university in the affected areas. Info: www.usg.edu/katrina.phtml
· Employment. Temporary positions are available through Kelly Services for evacuees. For more information, contact Deborah Jones at 888-2346.
· Food. Evacuees can receive free meals at The Rocket, Dairy Queen in East Albany, Burger King and Johnny Carino’s by showing their driver’s license. Evacuees can receive 50 percent off entree and a free drink at Moe's Southwest Grill when they show their driver's license.
· Housing. Harris Professional care is donating two three-bedroom houses rent-free for one year, for two families affected by Hurricane Katrina. The houses need some minor repairs. Harris Professional is asking for donations of your time for labor, building materials for repairs, furniture, appliance, bedding, drapes, cookware and any other necessities to make these houses a home for the two families. Donations can be dropped off before Sept. 8 at 1716 Gillionville Road from 8 am until 5 pm, or we will pick them up. Info: 435-3922.
· Shelter. The American Red Cross has opened a local shelter and assistance center at the Beatty Road Church of Christ. Various agencies are there to provide assistance and meals. Info: 436-4845.
· Shuttle service. Destiny Tours has volunteered to shuttle displaced families in Albany to Turtle Grove Park.
Here are more examples of Albany residents, business and organizations giving a helping hand to Katrina victims. All of these efforts are greatly appreciated and serve as testimony to the wonderful human and community spirit that is representatives of our Albany and Dougherty County citizens.
· Bottled water. Miller Brewing Co. is sending bottled water to the hurricane-ravaged areas.
· Broadcast media. Albany’s radio and television station ownership groups are pitching in by broadcasting public service announcements and coordinating relief efforts.
· Churches. Albany churches are taking special offerings and sending money and items to Katrina victims.
· Dialysis patients. Dr. Jeffrey Bell, working through the National Kidney Foundation, has listed Albany as a site to host kidney dialysis patients who are displaced because of the storm.
· Health care. Albany’s hospitals are offering personnel resources to assist hurricane victims.
· Lodging. Many hotels and motels are providing free or reduced-price rooms to evacuees.
Parks at Chehaw staff and volunteers donated their time and money to cook for 200 evacuees.
· Public employees. The Albany Fire Department is providing six firefighters to assist with Katrina relief efforts. The Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission is contributing personnel and equipment to help storm-damaged communities.
· Relief funds:
· Operation YBH, Security Bank and the Albany Herald have organized a donation drive. After 30 days, proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross. Info: 894-2499.
· The Albany YMCA has established a disaster relief fund. Info: 436-0531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A DISASTER?
This is a perfect time to make sure your family is prepared for an emergency. According to the Department of Homeland Security, steps include:
· Create an Emergency Kit – An emergency kit should include supplies that will allow you and your family to survive for at least three days in the event an emergency happens. The kit should include basic items like water, food, battery powered radio, flash light, a first aid kit and specific needs unique to your family, such as, daily prescription medications, infant formula or diapers, and important family documents.
· Make a Plan – Have a plan in place for what you and your family will do in an emergency and make sure all your family members know the plan. To develop one, ask yourself some important questions. "In the event of an emergency, do we have everyone's contact numbers and an out of town contact?" "Is there a designated place for everyone to meet outside of the home and neighborhood?" "What is the emergency plan including the evacuation location of my child's school?" While only you can answer these questions and develop an emergency plan that will suit your family's unique needs, you can download a template to help get you started at the Department of Homeland Security’s website at: www.ready.gov
· Be Informed - Learn more about the different threats that could affect your community and the appropriate responses to them. Visit the websites: www.ready.gov and www.redcross.org/preparedness for more information about natural disasters and potential terrorist threats including biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological emergencies.
· Get Involved - After preparing yourself and your family for possible emergencies, take the next step: get training in first aid and emergency response and get involved in preparing your community.
· More info -- www.ready.gov.