As you all know, Hurricane Michael inflicted an unprecedented amount of damage upon Southwest Georgia. Georgia state agencies, power companies, the American Red Cross and other relief agencies have been working tirelessly providing assistance. But, because much of Southwest Georgia was hit with a Category 3 hurricane, the impacts are so widespread that additional help is needed. Hurricane Michael may be out of the news cycle, but the damage was immense. Many Southwest Georgians still need assistance with cleanup.
The next leg of recovery is to help the residents clean up the fallen trees, brush and broken limbs. Katherine Zitsch with the Atlanta Regional Commission is helping organize teams (and individuals) to assist with the cleanup effort. Please reach out to her (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you think you could provide:
- Chainsaw assistance cutting fallen trees
- Limb hauling assistance from yards to the curb (simply put, able bodies willing to help)
- Bobcat operators (and bobcats) to help with the heavier lifting
Volunteers will be working on private property. Teams will be assigned to a specific location and will report to either a specific county’s local Emergency Management Agency or a church led relief effort (if you need to work under an EMA, just let Katherine know). Each has a defined footprint within southwest Georgia, with a formal list of activities to be completed. Lodging can be provided as needed. And, in many instances three meals a day will be provided, but not in all instances. Volunteers are needed as soon as this weekend and as long as two months from now. Teams or individuals can volunteer for a day, several days or several weeks – whatever works with your schedule.
Here’s a quote from Michael Chaco (Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority) who volunteered time and equipment to help in Colquitt, GA on Oct 27th and 28th:
The community was so grateful for the help. We were asked to clear trees and debris for those who could not do it for themselves. We were able to clear 2 yards, one for a disabled man and his wife, and another for a single mother with an autistic child. I would say we cut and cleared 30-40 trees. It was a great experience. Humbling yet fulfilling. There is still A LOT to do.
Our neighbors in Southwest Georgia are still overwhelmed by the cleanup in front of them. If you or a team want to volunteer, please drop an email to Katherine (email@example.com) with dates you are available, roles that interest you and your phone number — or forward this to someone that might be interested. If you have equipment that can be used (chainsaws, bobcats), please let her know that, too.
Whether or not you can physically assist with the clean-up efforts, please keep the folks in SW Georgia in your thoughts. Thank you.