Monthly Archives: September 2009

An Atlanta Flood Story: Pulling Together, Against the Odds

Inspiring story about the strength, resilience and resourcefulness of an evacuee in an Atlanta Red Cross flood shelter.


Austell resident speaks about how Red Cross has helped…

Beatrice Bowles, of Austell, Ga., talks about her experience with the flooding in Georgia. Water stood nearly six feet high in Bowles’ sister-in-law’s home. The Red Cross provided food, water and clean-up supplies to Bowles and her family

Preparing Together, Though a World Apart

Twenty-one leaders of the Supervision Office of Bureau of Environmental Protection of China’s Sichuan Province were briefed by leaders of the Metro Atlanta Red Cross


Today, twenty-one leaders of the Supervision Office of Bureau of Enviromental Protection of China’s Sichuan Province visited metro Atlanta Red Cross headquarters for a briefing on disaster services and volunteerism by Altanta Red Cross leaders.  On May 12, 2008, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan Province, a mountainous region in Western China, killing about 70,000 people and leaving over 18,000 missing. Over 15 million people lived in the affected area, including almost 4 million in the city of Chengdu.

Georgia Drought… What Drought?

I don’t want to jinx things but have you noticed how much rain we’ve had lately? According to the Georgia Drought Monitor, this time last year 84.1% of the state was considered to be abnormally dry. As of September 16, that number had dropped to 10.1%.  Lest you  doubt that the drought is ending,  consider that  a lingering low pressure system— sort of like a watered down version of a tropical storm— continues to pull abundant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to produce areas of scattered to widespread showers and thunderstorms from the eastern portions of the Southern Plains into the Eastern Valleys and the Southeast. The bottom line is that we’ve had a lot of rain and  in the short term  we can expect a bit more. With the ground being super-saturated and with more rain in sight, I figured that it might be a good time to go over flood tips:

  • Learn if your neighborhood is affected by floods by going to the National Flood Insurance Program website.
  • If you live in a frequently flooded area, stockpile emergency building materials.
  • Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up in sewer drains.
  • Plan and practice an evacuation route.
  • Make sure all family members know how to turn off gas, electricity, and water; and also know the emergency radio station to listen for information.
  • A flood “watch” means a flood is possible in your area.
  • A flood “warning” means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.


  • Watch or listen to your local media for the latest emergency information.
  • Store some water in jugs and the bath tub.
  • Move valuables to higher ground.
  • Be prepared to evacuate.


  • Get to higher ground.
  • Get away from standing, flowing, or rising water.
  • If you are driving and your car stalls, abandon your vehicle and head to higher ground.
  • Watch or listen to your local media for the latest emergency information.

 For more flood preparedness information go to

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis Talks Preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month and the Red Cross, along with actress Jamie Lee Curtis, encourages you to Get a Disaster Kit, Make a Disaster Plan and Be Informed about the types of disasters that can occur in your community. What’s that you say? We’re halfway through September? Well, that may be the case, but remember that disaster never takes a day off and that it comes  in many shapes and sizes. From home fires, tornadoes and floods to H1N1, severe thunderstorms and hazardous materials spills, disaster is an unfortunate and ever-present fact of  life. So take a gander at Jamie Lee’s video. Who knows, it might come in handy someday. 

 For more preparedness information go to