Recent Disasters Mean Chattanooga Area Volunteer Organizations are Running Low on Resources

Reported by: Amy Katcher
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Updated: 7/17/2013 7:25 pm
(WDEF)  Flash flooding in Hixson and South Pittsburg and fires all across the area mean a tough week for area responders.

Greg Waite with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee said, "Just looking at a 7-day period, that was an abnormally busy week.  We kept our shelter trailers out there, we kept our volunteers going.  We probably wouldn't have survived if it wasn't for having this equipment and having it pre-positioned and having those volunteers were there in a moment's notice to help us."

Most disasters you just can't plan for.  Waite adds, "We didn't know at 2 in the morning that the river was going to come up that fast.  We didn't know that people were going to have to be evacuated.  We didn't know flames were going to break out. (28:30)  So for us just as we're talking to the public about being prepared, we have to be doing the same thing."

Kimberly George with the Chattanooga Salvation Army said, "The fire at Patten Towers, now the flooding South Pittsburg, that we don't budget for.  We don't know when there's going to be a natural disaster.  But the Salvation Army is here to serve."

But doing the most good requires money and volunteers to respond.  George explained, "Our resources are tight and when I say tight, real tight.  The summer typically is a tighter time of year, but this year its even tighter than normal."   Waite added, "We've not seen a situation yet we have not been able to respond to.  And I don't ever want to see that.  I also never want to see anyone go without.  So if the community can continue to support us, we'll be there.  We'll be there."

So that's where you come in.  George said, "We live in a very generous community.  So we know when we let them know what the resources are that are needed at hand, that they respond."

If you can volunteer your time or donate money to the Salvation Army or Red Cross, click on the links.
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