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In an emergency, you can count on the Exchange Club

ALBANY -- Usually involved in work to fight child abuse, members of the Exchange Club of Albany signed on six years ago to help the community during disasters.

Julie Miller, emergency preparedness director for the Southwest Georgia Health District 8, spoke at the club's Friday luncheon meeting about disaster preparation.

"When I said I needed help in an emergency from civic clubs," Miller said, "The Exchange Club was the first to sign an agreement to assist the community."

Part of her Health District's job in an emergency would be to distribute antibiotics and other medical supplies for the Office of Emergency Preparedness if they are needed.

Miller said that is when the club's fairgrounds and members would be of great value to the effort. A tractor-trailer with medical supplies could park at the fairgrounds.

From there supplies could be distributed to the nine other smaller dispensing points such as local schools. At those points people could drive up and get what they need.

It is at the drive ups that club members could use their teamwork, experience and expertise to keep traffic flowing. They've been ushering traffic in and out of the fairgrounds longer than a coon's age for events such as the fair and the Coon Dog Classic during the weekend of Jan. 28.

"They can also help train new volunteers on what to do," Miller said. "In case of emergency we need volunteers. We are proud to work with the Exchange Club. They are one panel in the umbrella of the protection that we need."

Before Miller took the dais to talk to the club, the club showed more community support. It donated a check for $500 to GraceWay Recovery Residence for Women, an alcohol, drug and substance abuse program for women.