Monthly Archives: April 2011

(VIDEO, PICTURE) Red Cross responds to Georgia tornado relief effort

Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson toured the Red Cross shelter at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe located 15 minutes west of tornado-damaged Ringgold. “This represents the greatness of the capacity of the people of Georgia to come together and help Georgians who have been hurt”, said Isakson.
The Senator spent time visiting with shelter residents and thanking all the volunteers, including many Red Cross workers. This shelter housed 107 people the night of the tornado and 86 the night after. It is still open as of 4-30-11.

Red Cross worker Colin Downey rode a police-escorted bus into tornado-ravaged Ringgold, GA. The bus was full of travelers who had stopped for the night at Ringgold motels. This was the first time they had seen their cars since evacuating Wednesday night.

Don “Goose” Fortenberry celebrated his birthday the same day a deadly tornado ripped through Ringgold, GA, where he’s lived his entire life. Goose was thankful for his safety and for the responders including the American Red Cross. Help support Red Cross relief efforts in the South by donating at or by becoming a Red Cross volunteer.
Check out this amazing photo taken by Red Crossers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Thankfully, they are okay and helping those in need.

Alabama Red Crossers look on in amazement at Tuscaloosa twister. Thankfully, they are ok.


April Tornadoes: The Georgia Red Cross responds

Check back for updates as new information becomes available.

By Kevin Hagler

Duane Malloy (foreground), Disaster Action Team volunteer, prepares to leave HQ headed to aide victims in Rome, GA with Jim Shuncher (background)

Tornadoes tore through the Southeast last night leaving many communities severely damaged with costly repairs and displaced victims while claiming over 150 fatalities (estimated 13 in GA).

More than 1,680 people spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters in nine states. Red Cross shelters are open in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina and Texas.

Georgia Red Cross members were ready and in place.

Jack Lambert, who has been providing relief since Hurricane Katrina, packed up and hurried along to North Georgia equipped with supply kits for displaced victims.

The hardest hit areas of Georgia include Catoosa, Floyd, and Dade counties where governor Deal declared states of emergency last night. The Atlanta Red Cross was  quick to respond as several volunteers packed up and left headquarters this morning headed to Rome to provide victims with much needed relief.

If you are seeking information on a loved one, please visit our Safe and Well website. If you were affected by the storms, you can also register yourself as Safe and Well.

Volunteers Judy Vari (right) and Dan Dunnock (left) prepare for their treck up to Rome, GA (equipped with plenty of supplies and snacks)

See latest shelter locations here. Red Cross and partner managed shelters had over 2,700 people in them overnight. You can also download our new Shelter View app on iTunes.

The American Red Cross is already responding, through opening shelters last night and starting disaster assessment this morning but perhaps the greatest need is financial assistance. If you would like to help, you can do so by making a donation to support our disaster relief:

Be prepared for Tornado threat Wednesday

By Kevin Hagler

Severe weather –in the form of a tornado –may rear it’s ugly head in Metro Atlanta Wednesday. In fact, I was speaking with Ruben earlier and he mentioned that a record was broken for most tornado touchdowns in the U.S. in a single month! After further investigating, I came upon, WSB meterologist, Kirk Mellish’s blog:

This year has already posted 611 preliminary tornado reports across the nation, besting 2008…

This supercharged severe weather set-up is expected to continue for May as more shots of chilly Canadian air enter the country and try to spread South…

Thus far this April the country is running almost 2,000 severe thunderstorms above the average with 5,000 and counting..

Georgia is on the Southeast edge of this phenomena on average. But the Atlanta area is in “Dixie Alley” for dangerous tornadoes…


  1. Most tornadoes in 24 hours: 148 in April 1974.
  2. Most tornadoes in a week: 401 in May 2003.
  3. Most tornadoes in a month: 543 May 2003.

“Notice how warm and humid it is  outside..” Ruben said, “that is prime conditions for severe weather. Tomorrow is going to be a volatile day one way or another.”

While only two tornadoes have touched down in Georgia so far this season, our luck may soon run out. the Weather Channel forecasts “Windy…thunderstorms likely, some strong in the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds. Low 59F. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%.” (Sounds like the ingredients for a tornado to me)

I know I’ll be equipped with canned foods, water, flash lights, and batteries with a keen eye on the weather channel. But, that’s not all. Now is the time for you and your loved ones to review your severe weather plan to make sure that you are prepared for severe weather threats by following these steps:

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And the Award Goes to…

Jeanne being escorted into the room by newsman Jeff Hullinger

Don’t miss the WXIA-TV (Channel 11) Community Service Awards broadcast on Saturday, April 23rd at 7:30 p.m!

Our own Jeanne Spears, volunteer nurse extraordinaire, is one of the 11 honored guests and she makes her Red Cross Chapter so proud! The program will air again on Sunday, April 24th at 12:30 p.m. on WATL-TV 36.

You can also check out the video feature of Jeanne on the 11-Alive website:

Join Our Contest to Save Lives with AEDs

Mary Ann Sinkler is Manager, Marketing & Sales, Atlanta Red Cross

By Maryann Sinkler

We’re having a contest in the Red Cross Health & Safety Department this month. The employees have divided into Team “Nothing Shocking” and Team “Los Defibs” and are competing to see how many Automated External Defibrillator (AED) sales leads they can generate. The goal is to identify 96 potential AED customers during the month of April and I’m proud to say that, together, they already have more than 25 leads!

As a manager of the department, I wanted to have some fun raising awareness about a very serious topic. Did you know Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in America? Do you know what it is? I didn’t until I started working for the Red Cross and now I want to pass this important information on to you: SCA occurs without warning when the electrical rhythm of the heart suddenly goes haywire. At that moment, the victim (your dad, co-worker, child, grocery store clerk, etc.) collapses.

Now, here’s the scariest part: Unless a person experiencing SCA gets a shock from an AED within minutes – to reset their heart rhythm – they will die. Ideally, the shock needs to be given within four minutes. That means we can’t rely oemergency responders because they simply can’t always get there in time.  By the time someone calls 9-1-1 and responders make their way to the victim, it’s often seven or eight minutes and that’s just too long. 

So, the answer is to have everyone, and we do mean everyone, within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it.  That’s the Red Cross goal.  We know that for every AED we can get out in the community, more people will live when SCA strikes.  Specifically, the chances of a victim of SCA living go from 5% to 70% if they have access to an AED.

Thus, the contest!  Here’s how you can help us:  Is there an AED where you work?  Worship?  Play?  Workout?  Study?  Shop?  Dine?  For total success, there should be an AED everywhere there is a fire extinguisher.  So, put on your thinking caps and send our AED expert, Allison McIntyre (404-575-3079 or ) the names/contact information for places you know of that need an AED. 

We thank you now and someone else may thank you later!