Even with the broken windows, charred debris and caution tape surrounding her apartment complex, Brenda Wilson still considers Unit G her home.
“If they got the apartments repaired, would I be willing to move back in? Yes I will,” said Brenda.
For now, no one will be moving back in anytime soon. Brenda is one of 19 people displaced after fire ripped through this apartment building in Laurens Christmas night.
Brenda says the hours following were a blur.
“I mean, I was trembling from head to toe,” said Brenda.
But thankfully the help came to her. Along with firefighters, American Red Cross volunteers were sent in.
Red Cross Community Executive Kimberly Shell says if you ever experience something like this look for an emergency responder or a Red Cross logo on the scene to address your immediate needs.
“We look and see what their specific needs are such as you know, seasonal clothing, food, emergency medication,” said Shell.
In the weeks and months following, the Red Cross partners with other community organizations to help guide you through the process of finding a new place to call home.
“We give them a workbook and with all the information of how to get your driver’s license again, how to get your social security card,” said Shell. “We give them a checklist."
It’s all to help you find your new normal.
Brenda is still searching for hers but is thankful for the support and for some old advice.
“My momma always told me, don't cry over spilled milk,” said Brenda.
To help you be ready when disaster strikes, the Red Cross offers a free preparedness program.
Community or service groups, your neighborhood association or even businesses can sign up for it.
The Be Ready program through the Western Carolinas Region
includes a one-hour presentation of how to get prepared for any disaster in the Upstate.
If you're interested, call the Red Cross office in Greenville at (864) 271-8222.
To donate to the Red Cross, click here
For more on the Laurens apartment fire:http://www.wspa.com/story/24305386/photos-apartment-fire-displaces-families-on-christmas-day