Late last week, we met with the Bibb EMA director, Spencer Hawkins, to discuss the unmet needs of our friends and neighbors in Bibb and surrounding counties affected by Tropical Storm Irma. There are many seniors and others who are not capable on their own of dealing with storm debris or refilling their refrigerators after this week of strong winds and power outages. The EMA and city/county employees are not allowed to help with cleanup on private property and cannot take away debris that is too large for the trucks to manage, nor can they provide food or other needs when citizens call. As a result, United Way of Central Georgia has been asked to assist with coordinating Irma relief efforts including linking volunteers – groups and individuals – to those most in need of assistance and to facilitate communication about other available resources. The needs are still being assessed and some situations are still too precarious for volunteers, but we have setup a website for potential volunteers to provide information on their availability so that we will be prepared to take action when the needs are known. If you would like to help out, please use the link below to sign up. Signing up here does not obligate you to anything except to receive more information about recovery efforts as they are available. Also, please share with others who might also be willing to help:
Later today, we will have more information available for those in need on our website and through our 2-1-1 system. We are also working with Frank Austin of the Shalom Zones to facilitate crews for debris removal. If you are with an agency that would like to offer assistance, please email me details. We are working to set up a texting option to deliver information about available resources and opportunities for volunteering by zip code. We will ask you to help us get the word out as we get these systems in place. We will also work with EMA directors to provide the most up to date information about GEMA and FEMA assistance, if available. If you have questions, please let us know and we will do our best to get answers as quickly as possible.
Lynda F. Brown
VP of Community Engagement