On December 1, just two days after a fire ripped through the Great Smoky Mountains, Reach Out WorldWide was on the ground in eastern Tennessee.
This deployment was ROWW’s first response to a large-scale fire; a fire that left nearly 20,000 acres burned, over 2,000 structures damaged or destroyed, 175 people injured and at least 14 dead. Two juveniles have been charged with aggravated arson.
ROWW was among the first NGOs to arrive on scene and immediately went to work by assisting the local government to set up a volunteer coordination center and assess the damage with the local fire department as soon as the gates were opened. Reach Out WorldWide, partnered with and All Hands Volunteers, were the lead VOAD teams instrumental in fast tracking the opening of Gatlinburg to additional volunteers.
Source: ROWW Responds to Gatlinburg Fire