On November 28, a fire that began in the Great Smoky Mountains was pushed into Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge by wind gusts of up to 90mph. The flames burned down hundreds of homes and left 14 people dead, 17 firefighters injured, 14,000 residents homeless and over 1,476 homes have been destroyed. Our immediate response team is on the ground helping Gatlinburg with the unfolding disaster.
We are bringing the full arsenal of our core skills to the community of Gatlinburg around leveraging volunteers to do meaningful work in a disaster situation. As a result, we have been operating the Nashville Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in addition to the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) in Sevierville in coordination with the Tennessee VOAD and Volunteer Tennessee. We are receiving volunteers and are assigning them appropriate work according to the greatest need on the ground from cleanup to distribution.To date, we’ve processed over 5,000 new volunteers.
The team is out in full force having begun demo and debris removal. We are also out in the field doing chainsaw work, clearing trees and searching through the ashes and remains to salvage any belongings for homeowners. Check back here for updates.
We are working closely with Volunteer East Tennessee in the management of the VRC in Sevierville – Tennessee VOAD and East Tennessee VOAD. Our partners also include: