Thursday, January 30, 2014

Red Cross Assists Travelers Stranded by Winter Weather

 
Atlanta resident, Sandra Garrett, was heading home from a 6 day visit to a friend in Milwaukee via Greyhound Bus on Monday, January 27th. After her first bus got delayed because the heat was not working, she then was told to take another bus to Chicago. When this bus arrived to the station late, she missed her connecting bus and then was sent on to Indiana. From there, she took another bus and finally made it to Nashville, TN at around 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, January 28th. At that point, weather reports were grim for everyone who was headed south and she realized her chances of returning home that day to her family and beloved grandchild were fading quickly.

A rare winter storm brought freezing temperatures to much of the Southeast and Gulf Coast over a 24 hour period. The dangerous weather affected millions of people, including residents of the Deep South who are not used to snow, sleet and freezing rain with below-zero wind chills.

Garrett spent a long day waiting in the crowded Nashville Greyhound Station and tried to get some sleep that evening on a bus that was left running overnight for the weary stranded passengers to board to keep warm and rest. The next day, officials at Greyhound reached out to the Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross for help. That Wednesday afternoon, a Greyhound bus transported 27 passengers who were unable to return home due to the weather emergency, to the Red Cross emergency shelter that had been set up at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church. There, they were able to get meals, snacks, water, and comfort kits with personal hygiene items and hot showers. Garrett told Red Cross volunteers that while the cots and blankets at the shelter weren’t exactly luxurious, they were certainly much more comfortable than the chairs at the packed bus station.

“The Red Cross really came to our rescue,” said Garrett. “We were all freezing cold and not used to these temperatures but then you showed up and it was like the light at the end of the tunnel after a long journey.”

All 27 weary travelers boarded a bus headed south to finish their long trip back home on Thursday morning. As they hugged Red Cross volunteers on their way out the door of the shelter, thrilled with the anticipation of finally returning home, many of them expressed their genuine thanks and appreciation to the Red Cross, the Greyhound employees and Mt. Nebo Baptist Church members for generously opening their doors and allowing strangers, who had then become friends, to get some rest and relief after their long winter journey.

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from people in our community.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Red Cross Opens Shelter for Stranded Greyhound Bus Travelers

NASHVILLE, Wednesday, January 29, 2014 — The Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is opening an emergency shelter for stranded travelers at an area Greyhound Bus station.
 
“We are working in coordination with the local Greyhound Station to offer a safe, warm place for anyone who is stranded and unable to return home due to the inclement weather currently affecting many cities across the Southeast,” said Joel Sullivan, Regional CEO. 

The shelter will open at 4:00 p.m. and will be located at:

Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church
2416 Clifton Road
Nashville, TN 37209

The shelter will offer meals, water, snacks, personal hygiene items, a cot and blankets as well as an opportunity to take a hot shower after many weary hours of travel in the frigid temperatures.  All disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from people in our community.

“The core of Red Cross disaster relief is the assistance given to individuals and families affected by disaster to enable them to resume their normal independent lives,” said Sullivan.  “It is our job to be there for people when they need us, whether it is our neighbors here at home in Tennessee, or those who are on the road and trying desperately to get back home after a disaster.”

Red Cross Offers Assistance to Stranded Travelers Due To Harsh Winter Weather

NASHVILLE, Wednesday, January 29, 2014 — Record breaking cold weather has swept much of the Southeast U.S. over the past few days. Areas that are normally mild have been faced with freezing temperatures which has resulted in many car accidents and stranded travelers across several states. As always, the Red Cross is there to help.

 “We are currently working to assist stranded passengers at Greyhound stations in Nashville and Memphis with food, shelter and personal hygiene items,” said David Kitchen, Regional Disaster Program Officer.  “Some of these people may have been stranded for over 24 hours and we want to ensure that their emergency needs are being met.”

 The Red Cross is providing blankets, comfort kits as well as helping with feeding efforts to provide relief to those who have been affected. The American Red Cross also responded overnight across ten states, and has tips people across the country can follow to be safe while driving in winter weather.

 
WINTER DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

Ole Man Winter has affected most of the country this month with raging snow storms and sub-zero temperatures. The Red Cross offers these ten tips about what to do if you are driving during a winter storm or become stuck in your vehicle:

1. Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with a window scraper, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. Pack high-protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents or information you may need.

 2. Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.

 3. Find out what disasters may occur where you are traveling and pay attention to the weather forecast. Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

 4. If you can, avoid driving in sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog. If you have to drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.

 5. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.

 6. Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.

 7. Don’t pass snow plows.

 8. Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.

 9. Don’t run your engine and heater constantly to help avoid running out of gas. Don’t use things like lights or the radio without the engine running so the battery doesn’t conk out.

10. If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it – don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Congratulations to Our New APAT Members in Tennessee

Our brand new Advanced Public Affairs Team members were just announced in Tennessee!  We are so proud of Beth Toll, Scott Toncray, Greg Waite and Bob Wallace for being selected this year.  Congratulations, everyone!

Disaster Public Affairs is a support function within the American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services. When a disaster relief operation is established, trained public affairs workers are assigned to coordinate public affairs efforts and initiatives. For every disaster, the affected chapter coordinates the initial public affairs response which is primarily to inform the public of Red Cross efforts and deliver timely updates to local media outlets. Tactics include implementing a proactive, reactive and interactive public affairs posture.

In some disasters, the scope and scale of the impact is greater than one chapter and media interest might be elevated. When national media visibility is high, additional public affairs resources are assigned from outside of the immediate, affected area. During these times, members of the Advanced Public Affairs Team (APAT), a specialty track within Disaster Public Affairs, are assigned and deployed through the normal channels of the disaster response program.

Since its inception in 1994, APAT members have been deployed to tell the Red Cross disaster relief story by working with national media, staffing federal or state emergency operations centers as public information liaisons, writing stories about relief efforts, and gathering photo images and video clips to share online and with media sources.

APAT consists of more than 100 professionals nationwide with diverse backgrounds in communications, public affairs, media relations, journalism and related fields.

Meet our new APAT members:


Beth Toll

Beth Toll is the Regional Director of Communications for the Tennessee Volunteer Region of the American Red Cross.  She has been with the organization for over nine years and has previously served as the Development Director for the Heart of Tennessee Chapter and the Public Relations & Marketing Director for the Greater Chattanooga Area Chapter.  She deployed to help with Public Affairs in September 2013 to assist with the Colorado Floods and has also managed Communications for many local disasters from fires, floods and tornadoes across the state of Tennessee during her time with the Red Cross.  Toll is a graduate of the College of Communications at the University of Tennessee (’04) as well as a graduate of the 2009 Leadership Rutherford Program.

 

Scott Toncray

Scott E. Toncray, APR is president and chief strategic officer at ToncrayPRess.com, a public relations firm based in Franklin, Tenn. He has more than 13 years of public relations experience in local, global and government organizations and worked in Uganda, Tanzania, Panama, Papua New Guinea and Guatemala. He also served with FEMA as a public information officer during Hurricane Katrina. 
He is an active volunteer with the American Red Cross since his first job lifeguarding and now serves as a disaster public affairs volunteer.

 

Greg Waite

Greg Waite is the CEO of the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee. A 7 year veteran of the organization, Greg moved to Tennessee and his current role in 2013 after spending 6 years as Chief Development Officer in the Evansville Region. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Greg was a Television News Anchor/Reporter in Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia. Outside of working for the Red Cross, Greg is also an avid social media enthusiast, serving as a consultant for several companies and organizations as well as being a speaker for area colleges about Public Relations, Crisis Communications and Social media. Greg is a graduate of Bethany College in WV and grew up in Pittsburgh.

 

Bob Wallace

Bob Wallace is the Lead Public Affairs Volunteer at the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross in Memphis, Tennessee. He has been a Red Cross volunteer for a little over two years, during which time he has deployed to four national DRO's as a public affairs specialist: Superstorm Sandy, the tornadoes in Oklahoma and Illinois, and Colorado Flooding. Bob is a retired freelance science writer and Master Teacher of Science at New York University. Bob grew up in Memphis; he is married to Lana Wallace, has two sons, and three grandkids. His education background includes a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and a M.A. degree in Journalism.

 

Ten Tips to Keep Pets Safe from the Cold

With temperatures below freezing in Middle Tennessee, don't forget about your pets while you're trying to keep warm.
 
The American Red Cross has some tips everyone can follow to make sure their pets are safe during the bitter cold.

1. Keep your pets indoors as much as possible. If you are cold outside, chances are they are chilly too.

2. If you can’t bring animals inside, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure with cedar shavings or straw to help keep them warm. Also make sure that they can get to unfrozen water.

3. Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe the animal’s paws with a damp towel when they come back inside before they can lick them. If they eat the de-icer product it can make then sick.

4. Antifreeze is deadly to your pet. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.

5. The cold is harder on sick or older animals. If your pet is sensitive to the cold because of age, illness or breed, only take them outside to relieve themselves.

6. Do you have cats that roam the neighborhood? They may look for warmth under the hood of your car. If you start the engine, you could hurt or kill the animal. Before you start up the vehicle, honk the horn or bang on the hood to allow the cat to get away.

7. Just like you shouldn’t leave your pet in the car when it’s hot outside, don’t leave them in the car when it’s cold. In this extreme weather, they could freeze to death.

8. Pets can get frostbite just like you. Signs include pale skin or skin blue in color, lack of pain or a lot of pain at the affected area. Most susceptible are the pet’s tail, ears, or feet.

9. Animals can also suffer from hypothermia. Signs include decreased heart rate, dilated pupils, shivering or being unsteady. If you suspect your pet is suffering from either frostbite or hypothermia, consult your veterinarian.

10. Now is a great time to download the Red Cross Pet First Aid App for more information about how to take care of your pet. The app can be found in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by visiting redcross.org/mobileapps.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DAT+GRAM - Nashville Area Chapter - 1/22/14

Red Cross Offers Winter Safety Tips as Middle Tennesseans Face More Bitter Temperatures

As the next wave of frigid below normal temperatures blanket the Middle Tennessee area, the American Red Cross is ready to respond if needed and has some vital safety steps for people to follow to take precautions against the cold.

COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS

 1. Follow the advice of your local officials and avoid driving in the snow or ice if possible. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

2. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

3. Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

 4. Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.

5. Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

6. Don’t forget family pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

7. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

8. Download the Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores.

 
HOME FIRE RISK INCREASES DURING COLD

During extremely cold weather, the risk for a fire in someone’s home can increase. To avoid fire danger, you should remember the following:

Never use a stove or oven to heat the home. If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs. Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment someone wants to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

More home fire safety tips are available at redcross.org/prepare/disaster/home-fire.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Red Cross to Host 2nd Annual Heroes Luncheon


Fundraising Event to Honor Andy Womack as “Hero of the Year”
 

MURFREESBORO, TN, January 15, 2014 — The Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross will be hosting their 2nd Annual Heroes Luncheon on Wednesday, February 19th at noon at the Stones River Country Club.  Seating begins at 11:30 a.m. This year’s event will honor Andy Womack as the “Hero of the Year”.

 “This year, we are really looking forward to honoring our friend and long-time supporter, Andy Womack,” said Heart of Tennessee Chapter Executive, Mike Cowles.  “Andy has been an advocate and a volunteer leader for the Red Cross for many years and we are very proud to take this opportunity to thank him.”

A Vietnam Army veteran and an MTSU graduate, Andy has been a resident of Murfreesboro since 1957.  Andy has been a State Farm agent in the local community since 1981 and has also served on the board of the United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties and as a past Chairman of the Board for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.  Womack is also a retired Tennessee State Senator after serving from 1988-2000.

Corporate and individual table sponsorships from $250 - $5,000 are still available.  To purchase a sponsorship or to get more information, please contact Deena Cruz at 615-893-4272 ext. 104 or via e-mail at Deena.Cruz@redcross.org.

Current sponsors include:  Murfreesboro Medical Clinic, Black Box, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital, Special Touch Disaster Restoration, Ascend Federal Credit Union, Redstone Federal Credit Union, City CafĂ©, Wilson Bank & Trust, and Pinnacle Financial Partners

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. 


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DAT+GRAM - Nashville Area Chapter - 1/15/14

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

By The Numbers: Last Year VS. This Year


It seemed to us as though there have been an unusual amount of fires in Nashville this year so we ran the numbers.

Jan 1 – 14, 2013 we responded to 8 fires and assisted 28 clients
Jan 1 – 14, 2014 we responded to 17 fires and assisted 68 clients

*That is 112% increase in number of fires and a 142% increase in number of clients served.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Take Action to Prevent the Flu - Get Vaccinated

It’s that time of the year – flu season. If you have not yet gotten a flu vaccine, you’re urged to get vaccinated now.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the most important step in protecting someone against flu viruses. You are at an increased risk if you are age 50 or older, children age six months and older, women who are pregnant and anyone who has a chronic medical condition.
Here are four steps to help prevent the flu:
1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.

3. Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-rub.
4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms of the flu
The common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common in children). If you think you have the flu, your health-care provider should be consulted. Seek medical care immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

·  Fast breathing, trouble breathing or bluish skin color.

·  Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen (adults).

·  Confusion or sudden dizziness.

·  Not drinking enough fluids, not being able to eat, or severe or persistent vomiting.

·  Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

·  Children - not waking up, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held or not interacting. Fever with a rash. No tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.

 
How to treat the flu
 
·         Designate one person as the caregiver.

·         Keep everyone’s personal items separate. All household members should avoid sharing pens, papers, clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, food or eating utensils unless they have been cleaned between uses.

·         Disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, computers, telephones, toys and other surfaces that are commonly touched around the home or workplace.

·         Wash everyone’s dishes in the dishwasher or by hand using very hot water and soap.

·         Wash everyone’s clothes in a standard washing machine as you normally would. Use detergent and very hot water and wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.

·         Wear disposable gloves when in contact with or cleaning up body fluids.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Red Cross Responds, Offers Safety Steps As Bitter Temperatures Cover Much of U.S.

NASHVILLE, Monday, January 6, 2014 — The American Red Cross is helping people impacted by the frigid cold air covering two-thirds of the country, and offers steps people can take to stay safe during this dangerous weather.
 
“Our volunteers remain on stand-by to respond if there is a significant, unforeseen, emergency incident or event that displaces individuals from their normal place of dwelling which would cause us to open an emergency shelter,” said David Kitchen, Regional Disaster Program Officer. “We have been closely monitoring the weather system for the past several days and as soon as we realized that the flash freeze had the potential to strand motorists as well as to cause life-threatening situations, we immediately began activating our disaster action plan.”

The Tennessee Volunteer Region of the American Red Cross has already provided 320 blankets to the Tennessee Highway Patrol for their officers to give out to stranded travelers or anyone they may encounter who needs a warm blanket to protect against the bitter temperatures. The Red Cross has also been working directly with TEMA in order to preposition assets and relief supplies throughout the 62 county Region. Throughout the night on Sunday evening, Red Cross volunteers staffed a variety of emergency operations centers, assisted with logistics needs and continued to identify other ways that they could provide help to those in need.   

Red Cross workers have opened emergency shelters for people affected by the extreme cold, and working with local emergency officials to respond if needed as the cold weather moves to the east. Officials report as many as 117 million people are living under dangerous wind chill warnings, advisories and watches.

Sunday night 280 people stayed in 19 shelters in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts because of the weather. The Red Cross has helped people in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts since the current winter onslaught began last week.

COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS As this latest outbreak of cold air moves across the country, people could experience wind chills as cold as 60 degrees below zero in some areas. To stay safe during this dangerous weather, follow these steps:

·         Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

·         Someone should seek medical attention immediately if they have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.

·         Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

·         Don’t forget family pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

·         Avoid frozen pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

·         Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes.

·         Download the Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores.

 

HOME FIRE RISK INCREASES DURING COLD Red Cross workers are also responding to numerous home fires across the country. During extremely cold weather, the risk for a fire in someone’s home can increase. To avoid fire danger, you should remember the following:

·         Never use a stove or oven to heat the home.

·         If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

·         If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

·         Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.

·         Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment someone wants to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
 

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Follow Red Cross Safety Tips When Heating Your Home

 
It's cold out there! While keeping warm, it is important that families and individuals remain vigilant in practicing home fire safety. Although rarely making headlines, home fires are the most common disaster the Red Cross responds to, sending volunteers to the scene of fires at all hours of the day and night to help those affected.

Did you know that heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires? Take a minute to review safety tips that will help prevent a fire in your home.

Home Fire Safety Tips

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.

    The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. About 65 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms can save lives.

    Smoke Alarm Safety Tips
  •  
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

    For more information on home fire safety, download the American Red Cross First Aid App, which provides tips on how to prevent home fires and on severe winter weather safety. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. Find all of the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.

  • Red Cross Provides Emergency Shelter for Local Residents After Plant Fire


    Photo caption:  David and Annice Wilson are enjoying some fresh fruit with Red Cross volunteer, Joyce Boyd.  The Wilsons stayed at the Fairfield Church of Christ emergency shelter overnight on December 18th after a fire at a nearby recycling plant forced them to evacuate their home.

    It was a typical quiet Wednesday morning on December 18th when Annice Wilson (70) and her husband, David (77), were cooking breakfast in their home in Lyles, Tennessee.  Suddenly, a neighbor came to the door and alerted them to a massive fire that was burning right down the road at the nearby recycling plant.  They left their home quickly with Annice borrowing clothing from a neighbor as she escaped in little more than her nightgown to a nearby public library. 

    They were later directed to the shelter that had been set up by the Natchez Trace Chapter of the American Red Cross at the Fairfield Church of Christ in Centerville.  Annice was met at the shelter by Red Cross volunteer nurse, Sarah Henson, who ensured that she was able to get her diabetes medication immediately.

    “The Red Cross has treated us so well and we are so grateful that they were here for us,” said Annice. “We just really appreciate it.”

    The Wilsons have been married for 53 years, are life-long residents of Hickman County and have lived in their home for the past 22 years.  They are proud parents to two children and grandparents to five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. 

    “She is my rock and I don’t know what I would do without her,” said David Wilson lovingly about his wife.  “When she goes, I told her that I want to go too.” 

    The Wilsons represent the proud and resilient nature of the Hickman County community residents and the Natchez Trace Chapter is glad to serve them and to ensure that all those who were affected were offered a warm meal, a blanket, emergency medications and a refuge from the smoke and flames of the nearby plant fire.   Generous support from volunteers, donors and the local community has helped make this and all of our disaster relief efforts possible every day.