OFF-ROADERS HELPING OTHERS

GEORGIA JEEPERS JUMP IN TO HELP RESCUE ATLANTA CITIZENS

By Jennifer Hawkins Photo Christy Mote of Image Off Road Photography What happens when Mother Nature blankets the largest city in the Southeast U.S. with an inch of ice and little warning? Chaos ensues leaving commuters, school children and teachers stranded on interstates, secondary roads, in schools and on buses. How do offroaders view these treacherous conditions? We see it as an opportunity to play in the snow, of course. But, what started out as a rare chance for snow wheeling in the South turned into a Good Samaritan operation. Not just once, but twice inside of three weeks. The Atlanta metropolitan area was hammered in January and February with back-to-back ice storms. The first storm caught everyone completely off guard, stranding several hundred thousand people ? commuters in their cars and kids and teachers in schools and on school buses. The second, causing a shutdown of everything in general. But, that didn?t mean there wouldn?t be those who would tempt fate and head to the nearest store only to find themselves stuck in a ditch, with no help to be found. The Georgia Jeepers and their ERT (Emergency Response Team) answered the call(s) when few others could during Atlanta?s wild weather. Tommy Cope, Georgia Jeepers head cat wrangler, saw a need to help others during the January ice storm and enlisted the help of his fellow Jeepers in the process. ?In January, we performed over 150 vehicle recoveries and answered 300 calls for assistance from all over the metro area. When we received an email or Facebook request, we would check to see which one of our members was closest to the area and see if they could assist. We didn?t do it for money; we did it because people needed the help.? The Georgia

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