South Georgia groups prepare for Wilma - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia groups prepare for Wilma

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October 19, 2005

Albany--When Hurricane Katrina hit, southwest Georgia organizations quickly lent a helping hand to storm victims. Now with Hurricane Wilma spinning toward the Gulf coast, these area agencies, say this time is no different.

As Hurricane Wilma threatens Florida, the First United Methodist Church in Albany is ready to help people there if and when the time calls.

"Pretty much every time a storm hits the churches around here respond, and First Methodist will be one of them," says associate minister Scott Hagan.

Last month the church sent supplies to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Hagan says the church will help Floridians if needed by bringing aid and helping rebuild homes, businesses, and faith.

"The Methodist church happens to specialize in the long term recovery, and that'll be one of the things we do," says Hagan.

"We're keeping an eyes on things," says Daniel Churchman.

Over at the American Red Cross, disaster director Daniel Churchman prepares for the worst, with a list of emergency volunteers on stand by.

"One-hundred percent that at least one person will go, probably I can think of five people right off the top of my head that will likely go," he says.

If Wilma makes landfall in Florida, the chapter is ready to send emergency response vehicles packed with food and supplies.

"We're prepared to deploy that to the affected area if our headquarters calls us and asks us to deploy our vehicle," says Churchman.

The Salvation Army stands ready to provide immediate assistance and temporary shelter.

"We have a shelter, we have extra beds, we have a feeding program that operates 365 days a year," says Brent Nevers, with the Salvation Army.

The center also has a mobile kitchen that might be sent to the affected areas.

"We'll move into an area that has no water, no power, and we'll set up our mobile feeding kitchen and feed anybody who shows up," says Nevers.

While all three organizations hope Wilma turns away from Florida, they say they're all ready to respond if disaster strikes.

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