By John L. Ross
Residents of the Tri-County area are no strangers to the forces of nature which often ravage this region.
From extreme winter weather, to raging brushfires, to heavy flooding, to landslides, to tornado activity — emergency services personnel often have their hands full handling disasters throughout this mountainous terrain.
And when disaster hits home — often members of the Red Cross are on stand-by to help.
Today is the first day of American Red Cross month nationwide.
Following suit with President Barack Obama, Whitley County Fiscal Court Judge/Executive Pat White Jr. signed a proclamation Thursday declaring March as American Red Cross Month.
When a weather event or other natural disaster makes national headlines, the Red Cross is often discussed in many of these reports.
Where the Red Cross is not often heard about is localized disaster situations, including house fires. During the proclamation signing Thursday, Emergency Management Director Danny Moses said he often helps several Whitley County citizens get Red Cross assistance during localized emergencies, like flooding or house fires.
The proclamation states: “In Whitley County, the Red Cross works tirelessly through its employees and volunteers to help when disaster strikes. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families, and provides training in CPR, aquatics safety and first aid.”
And with the upcoming spring season, all types of varying weather conditions could plague this region.
Sunday launches Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3-9, and this year the focus is “Be a Force of Nature.”
According to the American Red Cross website, the National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a time set aside by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) to emphasize the need for individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits to get prepared and know what to do before severe weather strikes.
For more information about disaster preparedness, classes, or other Red Cross information, contact the Bluegrass Region’s Southeastern Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross in London at (606) 878-6333.