South West Georgia Public Health

Health Departments

Storm Relief Information

Counties in Southwest Health District have been impacted by tornadoes—on Jan. 2 and again on Jan. 22—and Public Health is offering free tetanus shots to recovery workers at county health departments.

Tetanus shots are also being offered at shelters that have opened for victims of the tornado, including the Red Cross shelter at the Albany Civic Center, which is being staffed by Public Health nurses.

Georgia Storm Survivors Should Register for Disaster Assistance

ATLANTA – Homeowners, renters and business owners in Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Turner and Wilcox counties affected by January severe storms and tornadoes are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.

Individuals and businesses in the designated counties can begin the disaster assistance process by registering online at or by calling 800-621-3362, which is video relay service accessible. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or who
have difficulty speaking may call TTY 800-462-7585. Helpline hoursare 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice.

Assistance may include grants for temporary housing, rental assistance and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as repairing or replacing personal property, and medical and dental expenses. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business
Administration may also be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person registered with another disaster-relief organization. Federal disaster aid
does not affect other government benefits, such as Social Security and Medicaid, and is not considered taxable income. Survivors must use the name that appears on their government photo ID when registering with FEMA.

Applicants will be asked for the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged home or apartment
  • Description of the damage
  • When the damage occurred
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • A current contact telephone number
  • An address where they can receive mail
  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.
  • Georgia storm survivors should register with FEMA even if they have
  • insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured
  • applicants may be considered for help after their insurance claims
    are settled.

Know what to include in an emergency kit. Be prepared before severe weather hits.

What to Include In an Emergency Kit

At Least a 3-day Supply of Food and Water

  • One gallon per person, per day
  • Foods that are easy to make and won’t spoil, like canned soup, dry pasta, and powdered milk
  • Manual can opener
  • Basic utensils to prepare and serve meals

Health Supplies

  • 3-day supply of all medicines, at a minimum
  • Medical supplies like syringes, a walking cane, or hearing aids with extra batteries

Personal Care Items

  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Baby wipes
  • Contact lenses or glasses

Safety Supplies

  • First aid kit
  • Emergency blanket
  • Multipurpose tool (that can act as a knife, file, pliers, and screwdriver)
  • Whistle


  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides weather updates during emergencies. Look for a radio labeled “NOAA Weather Radio.”
  • Flashlight
  • Radio (battery-powered, solar, or hand-crank) for updates on the situation
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Extra batteries


  • Keep copies of your important documents, cash, spare keys, and maps in you emergency supply kit.
  • Copies of important documents such as insurance cards and immunization records
  • Paperwork about any serious or on-going medical condition
  • Your completed family emergency plan, complete with family and emergency contact information.

You should also keep

  • Extra cash
  • Maps of the area
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

Taking Care of Others

  • You may need additional supplies to make sure the whole family is ready.

For Children

  • Baby supplies like bottles, formula, baby food, and diapers
  • Games and activities for children

For Pets

Plan ahead so you’re ready to take care of your pet during an emergency.

  • Food and Water:
  • A 3-day supply of food and water for each pet. A cat or a dog will generally need 1 gallon for three days.
  • Bowls or bottles
  • Manual can opener
  • Cleaning Supplies:
  • Depending on the pet, you may need a litter box, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
  • Health and Safety:
  • Medicines and medical records stored in a waterproof container
  • First aid kit with a pet first aid book
  • Transport supplies:
  • A sturdy leash, harness, and carrier to transport pets safely. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for several hours.
  • Comfort Items:
    Pet toys and the pet’s bed, if you can easily bring it, to reduce stress
  • Paperwork:
    Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them, and to prove that they are your pets, in case you become separated from them
    Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care

Southwest Health District

Worth County Health Department offers tornado recovery help

Worth County Health Department offers tornado recovery help

Worth County Health Department is offering free tetanus shots to tornado recovery workers through the end of the month. Its environmental health specialists are also offering technical assistance.

“If you are doing clean-up after the recent disasters, you might be exposed to tetanus bacteria in the environment,” said Worth County Health Department Nurse Manager Gina Connell. “Tetanus bacteria are widespread in the environment, and can infiltrate the body through puncture wounds, lacerations, minor abrasions and even splinters.”

If it has been 10 years since your last tetanus shot and you are helping with recovery and clean up, you are eligible for a free shot, said Connell, who noted that insurance will be billed for the vaccine. “If you have been injured in clean-up and haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past 5 years you are at particular risk and should get a shot within 3 days.”

If left untreated, tetanus can be fatal.
In addition, Worth County Health Department Lead Environmentalist Laura Searcy reminded residents who have experienced power outages that, regarding food stored in refrigerators or freezers, “When in doubt, throw it out.”

She said refrigerated food remains safe to consume for four hours without power, while perishables in a freezer remain good for up to 48 hours.

Property-owners are also urged to call the Worth County Environmental Health Services at 229-777-2168 if they are going to need heavy equipment in their yard and would like a sketch showing where their septic system located so it isn’t damaged. “Just give us a call beforehand so hopefully we can save you from additional problems,” Searcy said. “Not everyone knows where their septic tank is located.”

Searcy had other advice as well. “For those cutting trees in the area of their drain field, we recommend leaving the stump, and grinding it,” she said. “If you pull the stump, you run the risk of pulling up drainage lines.”

For more information, contact the Worth County Health Department at 229-777-2150 or go on-line to

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