Red cross volunteers on standby if needed - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Red cross volunteers on standby if needed

The Flint River Chapter of the American Red Cross is on stand by, ready if they're needed in the emergency response in South Georgia or Florida. 

More than 120 trained Red Cross disaster volunteers were called yesterday, to see if they are able to deploy.  Now they are on standby, if the call for help comes.

The Flint River Chapter of the American Red Cross is packing their gear in trailers, and getting trucks gassed up. They have been observing flood warnings and watches today in Clinch, Coffee, and Atkinson County and now their chapter has also been put on alert to possibly help battered portions of Florida.

"We're looking at power lines down, and roads washed out. And so the Red Cross is getting ready.  They have asked our chapter to back up for Florida if we need to deploy," said Red Cross Flint River Chapter Executive Director Lara Gill. 

No Georgia shelters have been opened, but there are 9 Red Cross shelters in operation in Florida.  If the official call comes, the Flint River Chapter is ready to help.

"Shelter operations with client case work with damage assessment. So they can do a number of things.  Even nurses.  We have in our chapter that can go provide first aid as needed. And mental health associates that provide mental health counseling as needed," said American Red Cross Flint River Chapter Emergency Services Program Manager Nigel Poole.

Even if not called now, these Red Cross emergency responders say Tropical Storm Debby lets them know that call could come in the near future.

"We have had four named storms this year.  It's the most named storms this early in the season.  So this is a good preparation for us," said Gill.

Tuesday the Red Cross volunteers remain on standby, ready to provide emergency response if needed, as the rain from Tropical Storm Debby continues to batter portions of Georgia and Florida.

The American Red Cross could use more volunteers to join their Flint River Chapter, which covers 24 counties in South Georgia. 

The volunteers have to receive Red Cross training before they can be emergency responders.

The American Red Cross is mandated by the federal government to respond to disasters but receives no government money.

If you want to donate or become a volunteer call 229-436-4847 or click here.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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