today i went out with don and ruth, two local red cross volunteers to do damage assessment.
it was quiet an eye opening experience to see how you can possibly put an assessment on destruction.
we have these neat little handheld devices now that our volunteers input all of the information into about the extent of water level, property details, etc.
before these neat gizmos paperwork would take up a lot of time.
now we can upload the info straight from the homes with the gps info...its really cool.
it was really crazy to see house after house that is a complete loss.
in some neighborhoods the water was over 20 ft tall.
you could see the water levels by the red dirt water line stain (if you look really close in my photos you can see it)
you could also tell by looking at trees because the leaves were still coated with mud.
some folks couldnt get out in time and had to be rescued by boat, so their cars are now ruined too.
it really is heartbreaking to see peoples every last belonging piled like mountains by the curb.
here is a blog story i wrote for national that ended up on their newsroom and blog today.
Beginning to Assess the Widespread Damage
Don and Ruth Krohn are not your typical tech users. Both in their late sixties, technology really isn’t their thing. Today they are out and hitting the streets in Austell, Ga., with handheld computer devices, known as Rapid Data Management Systems (RDMS), to gather damage assessments for the American Red Cross.
In the 11 years the Krohns have been volunteering with the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Red Cross the have been deployed to almost 30 disasters. Their roles vary from disaster to disaster, but this is the first time they have used ‘these high-tech gadgets’ to assist clients.
“At the end of the day is when you can see the results,”says Ruth. “You don’t see all the paperwork. You are done now when you come back in at the end of the day and you don’t have to do any other follow up after the data is sent.”
“It’s a very worth while thing,” adds Don with a chuckle saying how he only wishes that the screen was bigger.