Local church, nurses helping those impacted by Irma

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Irma has many people in our area doing what they can to help those affected by the storm – from collection donations to providing a temporary home for evacuees.

Geneva Smoak drove seven hours from her home in south Georgia evacuating the possible devastation Irma could leaving behind.

It’s a move she never thought she’d have to do.

“It was scary,” Smoak said.

It landed her and her family, including three year old son, at the Red Cross shelter at East Brainerd Church of Christ where at least 20 evacuees are staying.

“Jesus’ second command was love thy neighbor as thyself. So, if we’re going to be neighbors we need to open up our doors and help them out and that’s what we’re here to do,” said East Brainerd Church of Christ Elder Kevin Lee.

While some are heading into town others are making their way out including 4 teams of Tennessee nurses.

They left for Florida Saturday morning.

“We’re trained to set up shelters and how to run shelters so basically we’ll be checking people in and then identifying whatever needs they have whether it’s dialysis or getting meds that they may have lost,” said Tammy Mansfield, assistant nursing director.

A total of 40 nurses are driving down south.

They’ve committed to stay for up to 14 weeks.

“I think that we truelove are the volunteer state as public health nurses that is something that we do. It’s something that we’re prepared to do and it’s something we want to do and are willing to do,” said Michelle Ramsey, nursing director.

As for Smoak, she says it’s unclear how long she and her family will stay at the shelter.

But in the meantime she says she’s praying for everyone’s safety.


Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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