Atlanta weather: After tornadoes, powerful storms, here’s how to help

Ontario Alvarez talks about hunkering down with family on Jumpers Trail in Fairburn during storm. Video by John Spink/AJC

Even before the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado had touched down in south Fulton County, the damage caused by Monday's powerful storm system was obvious and widespread. Throughout metro Atlanta and North Georgia, the first day of spring was marked by scenes of downed trees, caved-in roofs and powerless homes.

Still, the damage was particularly severe in portions of south Fulton County and Haralson County, where the Red Cross immediately deployed volunteers and resources.

“The Red Cross has been on the scene here since the beginning,” said south Futlon fire official Jack Butler.

<p>Severe Weather Team 2 says a tornado damaged almost every home in one South Fulton County neighborhood.</p>

Credit: Photo: WSB-TV

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Credit: Photo: WSB-TV

It was the same situation in Haralson County, where  fire chief Brian Walker said he’d been out all day assessing damage and making sure people “have what they need.” Like officials in other hard hit areas, he hadn’t heard of any specific relief efforts that had sprung up so far in response to Monday’s storms, making financial donations to the Red Cross appear to be the best bet for members of the public looking to help.

“Neighbors often ask how they can help people impacted by disasters,” the Red Cross said in a statement Tuesday. “The best way is with a financial donation for Red Cross disaster relief, which is turned into the meals being served, a safe place to stay, clean-up supplies and so much more.”

Not only that, donations  made now “help keep us prepared for the next” instance of disaster response, explained Divina Mims-Puckett,  Regional Communication Manager for the American Red Cross of Georgia.

To make a donation, call 1-800-RED-CROSS , text REDCROSS to 90999 and donate $10, or go to

Another way to help in Harolson County is by donating to the Community Christian Council in Tallapoosa. While "we have not been asked to put anything in place as of yet" specifically related to storm relief, said board member Randy Robinson, as part of its many charitable efforts, the organization serves free meals two nights a week and runs a Thursday night food bank.

“But if it’s a dire situation and you need food,” Robinson added, “we won’t make you wait until Thursday.”