[Synopsis: Reaching out to those affected by disaster highlights the importance of prevention at home.]
The fires that ravaged Gatlinburg, TN and the surrounding eastern areas are finally out, but the physical destruction remains. Circumstances change and needs evolve, but there are many in the area who will remain in need of daily necessities, not to mention a sense of hope … particularly with the holiday season upon us.
If you are in the general area or are interested in finding out if there are ways you can help, one place to start is the Knoxville News Sentinel. In a post dated Dec. 2nd they give a list of items affected individuals could really use:
“Currently needed are deodorant, shaving supplies, hair brushes, new socks, new underwear, peanut butter, jelly, Stage 1 baby foods, Stage 3 baby food, breast-feeding supplies, baby formula, baby lotion, diaper rash/cream, diapers size Newborn/1/2/5/6, pull-ups, baby shampoo/wash, flashlights, infant/children’s medicine, kids’ juice, low-dose aspirin, portable phone chargers, pillows, Depends/adult diapers, Benadryl (adult and children’s), school supplies, clear or mesh backpacks, pacifiers, Zyrtec and baby bottles.”
Got a crew? Moving trucks? Get in a truck and help shelters, charities or more transport their stuff to places of need. This is especially doable during the down season. And if you absolutely insist on needing a monetary incentive for doing this, trust me: your truck’s logo in places of need does not go unnoticed.
The Sentinel goes on to list 25 organizations working to collect various items, with addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, URLs and facebook page links throughout.
Of course, much of our HireAHelper community is beyond striking distance of Gatlinburg. But as we talked about last month, there are people in need everywhere.
One thing we all can do – now and for the future – is carry and promote a sense of fire awareness in our own environment. (We are setting up people’s homes, after all.) One way we can do this is by making sure our fire extinguishers are in working order and up to date. And, of course, make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them. Check the links on this OSHA page for some not very sexy but definitely helpful, critical information on fire extinguishers – their types and their use as well as how to read the information on an extinguisher’s label.
A fire extinguisher is something we hope we never have to use. But if the time ever comes, we want to be able to act quickly, efficiently and intelligently.