Andy Thomas, employed 17 years with the American Red Cross, held a Summer Safety Class at the Pickens County Public Library on June 14, 2011. Topics included disasters with house fires, tornados and thunderstorms as well as summer safety with heat waves, identifying poison ivy and swimming. Participants of all ages interacted with Andy asking many questions and helping pass out the information.
The American Red Cross is chartered by Congress to aide military families and comfort and aide the public in time of disasters. In Pickens County, the Red Cross responds mostly to house fires with an average of 25 a year.
Andy stressed that people need to drink plenty of water in the heat and not leave anyone in a car, including a pet. He brought an example of poison ivy sealed in bags to pass around. For those allergic, he mentioned a new treatment called Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub that you pour on you skin and washes off with no residue.
Andy said if you don't know how to swim then you need to take swimming lessons. He suggested sticking to swimming pools because it's hard to know what is in the water in lakes, streams and rivers. After sharing a personal story, he emphasized the need to always wear a life jacket on a boat.
To prepare for a disaster keep enough food, water and medicine to last you three to five days. It's recommended to have a gallon a day per person of fresh water. A Disaster Preparedness Coloring book was given out (see link below).
Jasper, Georgia in Pickens County in the North Georgia Mountains Blaine, Hinton, Jasper, Ludville, Marble Hill, Nelson, Talking Rock & Tate GA
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