You can help provide relief for Hurricane Ian victims

Published 12:14 pm Friday, September 30, 2022

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Imagine being on the clock — whether stocking up on groceries, paper goods and water; safe-proofing your home; or trying to evacuate from the bullseye of a powerful, approaching storm — your time is limited as every second counts.
That was the reality this week of many people living in Florida. And, Hurricane Ian is not done yet. It was expected to slam the coast of South Carolina this weekend and spread water, rain, and wind inland as far east as Tennessee.
Hurricane Ian packed all the tell-tale dangers — wind, rain, and flooding due to storm surge. Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction across Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, cutting off the only bridge to a barrier island, destroying a historic waterfront pier and knocking out power to 2.67 million people as it dumped rain over a huge area.
Even with the chance of damage and danger, volunteers from the American Red Cross were deployed to the affected area hoping to bring relief to people in need. Electric crews from throughout the Southeast descended upon the state to help restore electrical service. Poles will have to be replaced, wires re-strung. It will be days and perhaps weeks before many get their power restored.
National Guard troops from several states were deployed to the state to help with the clean-up and search and rescue.
And, many of these volunteers are coming from Tennessee. They will work night and day to provide the emergency shelter and supplies that Floridians may need. They will help clean up storm debris, repair homes, clear roads, etc. It is a calling they are trained to answer time and again with compassion and plenty of heart. The American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee sent three people to Florida to help get evacuation shelters prepared before the hurricane made landfall. The local chapter’s executive director is among them to act as a government liaison, communicating with local officials about supply needs in impacted areas. Director Dawn Day said it’s likely the Northeast Tennessee Chapter will send 10-15 additional volunteers during the next few days.
But, they can’t do it alone.
We ask you to reach out to the Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross. The best way to help is to donate — whether your money or time by volunteering, every gift helps — big or small. The Chapter’s office is located at 660 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport. The phone number is (423) 765-4222. The Northeast Tennessee Chapter serves Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, and Washington counties.
We are sure there will be other organizations helping by sending volunteers, supplies, food, collecting funds for those in need of assistance. If you can go, go, but if you can’t help in other ways.
We are at our best when we face our hardships together and helping our neighbors, and this is no different.

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