The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
As most of you know, wildfires recently forced the evacuation of thousands of people from the Great Smoky Mountains, including the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Your Red Cross immediately sprang into action, opening evacuation centers and shelters for the residents and tourists who fled their homes.
Working together with community partners, the Red Cross managed three shelters, providing meals, snacks and a place to sleep for those displaced for days after the wildfires hit. Red Cross volunteers also helped to fill lost prescriptions, provided mental and emotion-al support and began disaster assessment of homes that were damaged or destroyed.
While Red Cross was providing support to those devastated by the wildfires, an outbreak of severe storms and tornadoes impacted eleven counties in Southeast Tennessee
Again, the Red Cross including many of you answered the call for help, mobilizing a damage assessment team, mobile feeding unit and bulk distribution unit, and opening cases to assist those affected.
By the first week of December, there were over 300+ Red Crossers from across the nation in East and Southeast Tennessee providing assistance to people affected by disasters. Countless volunteers helped with all aspects of a disaster operation, from sheltering and feeding, to logistics and mental health, to meeting with community and government officials to ensure residents were being well taken care of.
Today, your Red Cross continues to provide assistance through casework recovery and follow up and is also working on a long-term plan to train and prepare the com-munity for future disasters.
Many people affected be the disasters in Tennessee this winter have a long road ahead. Because of your support, the Tennessee Region of the American Red Cross is able to be there now, and when the next disaster strikes, providing assistance and hope when it is needed most.
Thank you to the Tennessee Region volunteers! We truly are the volunteer state!