Red Cross visits LaFayette ahead of Hurricane Season

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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A representative of the American Red Cross spoke to the LaFayette city council during the Monday meeting about the efforts for community readiness ahead of hurricane season. 

Jamar Brewton, American Red Cross disaster program manager, addressed the council about building a better relationship with the city for natural disaster relief. 

“I come to you all today to encourage you all as we work together to increase our volunteers in the county [and] to make sure we have a level of readiness for hurricane season,” Brewton said. 

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Last month was Red Cross Awareness Month. Brewton said the organization is working to increase the volunteers in the community in preparation for disasters that can happen during times like hurricane season.

“It is not an ‘if,’ it is a ‘when we are impacted,’” Brewton said. “We want to make sure we work together to increase that [number of volunteers].”

Brewton has been working with the city’s Fire Chief James Doody as well as the county’s emergency management deputy director, Jessica Yeager, to prepare the county for emergency disaster relief and response. 

Hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts until the end of November. Currently, the fire station responds to storm debris obstructing roads within the city limits. Outside of LaFayette, the Chambers County Highway Department handles road cleanup. The department has increased its service area since the city of Lanett made a motion to pull back its jurisdiction last year.

The American Red Cross advises the public to have a safety plan in advance of any storm. If advised to evacuate, you should already know where to go and how to get there. “Mobile/manufactured/trailer homes cannot provide safe shelter from tropical-storm or hurricane-force winds,” according to the Red Cross. 

If sheltering in place, the Red Cross advises to stock up with necessary supplies to live without power, water, gas, phone and internet. The Red Cross says, “The next best protection [after a designated safe shelter] is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not likely to flood.”

Otherwise, find a location on higher ground to which you will have access in case of flooding.