**The above picture is from Wate-TV, it is not mine**
You may or may not have heard of the outbreak of wildfires the past month or so, that were in not just East TN, but also Kentucky, North Carolina and so on along our mountains. I'm happy to say that as of today we have finally gotten some rain. I'm sad to say that one of our large tourism areas Gatlinburg and our Smokey Mountains suffered a lot of devastation with winds picking up to 60-80mph in the mountains while the fires were going. As of right now 4 people have lost their lives and 4 dozen or more have been injured. Wildlife in our state parks and mountains are in danger as well. There's also a lot of missing people as well. Fire fighters, EMS, Red Cross, Law Enforcemant, and Search and Rescue teams from all over have went to help and have been working around the clock.
There's several things that we can do ourselves though to help the victims and evacuees. Over 150 buildings and homes were damaged or lost and I believe over 1400 people were evacuated (last I had heard yesterday that is) and had to go to shelters in the area. So as of last night the Red Cross said they were filled to the brim with everyones item donations which was greatly appreciated. Many resturants and hotels in the area were at the service of those working around the clock to help the victims or put out fires and so on. However like I said there is still some things we can do.
1st: I'm gonna ask you to pray for victims who lost loved ones, and the ones that they're searching for. As well as the family's who lost their homes and businesses. Also, the ones that are working to help attend to people, find people, and also working in these areas that were so heavily damaged and putting theirself in possible danger. If you can't do anything but this then that is enough.
2nd: Red Cross is asking for monetary donations so they can buy supplies they need in bulk. Things that we can't give them. So, if you're in East TN any Kroger grocery store will have the option to donate to local Red Cross efforts, you can also donate online redcross.org/donate. You can also text "REDCROSS" to 90999 for a $10 donation that will be added to your cell phone bill. **IF YOU ARE UNDERAGE PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR PARENTS OR GAURDIANS ABOUT OR BEFORE MAKING A DONATION**
3rd: There is now a missing person hotline set up by TBI to report missing loved ones in Sevier County. That number is 1-800-TBI-FIND. Give as much information as you can and they will pass it along to local law enforcement immidiately. They ask that you do not call to ask about personal properties please. Feel free to share that number if anyone needs it or hasn't yet seen it.
I know there have been several Go Fund Me accounts set up as well. If you look on the Go Fund Me website you'll find Go Fund Me pages for anything concerning Gatlinburg, Not all will be related to the fire so keep that in mind and read carefully.
I can't begin to imagine what the victims have seen or are dealing with. Even though most of East TN has been affected by wildfires for the past month or more, some very close to me as well only minutes away. Still, they're suffering on a mass scale. Along with wildfires there was a tornado that hit last night in Athens that done a lot of damage as well. So I want to include that too, they aren't lost amongst the Gatlinburg fire. We have such small worries when we see mass devastation and disaster. It's very sad that it has to hit so close to home for us (myself included) to even realize it. There is work to be done and people to help all over this nation let alone this world.
With all that being said, if you have been affected by one of these tragedies I am so very sorry, I'm praying for you and yours, and I love you.
**My information is coming from my local news channel and website so if you want to verify anything or read more please go to WATE.com**
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.