State agencies, Red Cross to sign disaster services plan

State agencies, Red Cross to sign disaster services plan

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Several state agencies, including Georgia's departments of Human Services and Public Health, announced an agreement with the American Red Cross Tuesday in coordinating their disaster services.

The five-year agreement is set to be signed on Wednesday and, with its new provisions, is a renewal of a previous agreement.

"This agreement is essential to providing a timely and efficient emergency response during and after weather events or other disasters," said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. "We must be prepared to respond to immediate needs, but also those essential needs that come later such as mental health and general wellness."

The plan includes planning and response provisions for people that have physical, sensory, mental health, and cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities affecting their ability to function independently without assistance as well as those individuals who are not self-sufficient and who do not have adequate health/medical support from caregivers, family, or friends.

The multi-agency agreement complies with the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan, an executive order issued by Governor Nathan Deal and administered by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security.

 Leaders from the American Red Cross, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Department of Human Services will sign the document at 10 a.m. Wednesday at 2 Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta.

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