Atlanta businessman creates help web page for his native East Palestine
Even though he’s more than 500 miles from his home town of East Palestine, a Georgia businessman hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Eric Wirks, who owns and operates Wirks Moving & Storage in Marietta, Georgia, is devoting a page on his businesses website to streamline public support for the victims of the Norfolk Southern train derailment.
The site is designed as a single resource offering answers to questions about about how to support the communities of East Palestine after the recent chemical fire and spill, according to Wirks who founded his moving and storage company in Atlanta in 2009.
In addition to creating the resource page, Wirks also donated $10,000 to The Way Station which is offering for emergency assistance and disaster support for the surrounding communities.
“The communities impacted are facing the reality of a long, difficult road back to normal and need help,” said Wirks. “If everyone pitches in, even just a little, the impact would be enormous. Consolidating the information was the first step. Now, we need to let people know how to get to it.”
The resource page provides information to both individuals wishing to extend their support and residents needing help.
A media release from Wirks says the webpage aims to resolve issues in locating actionable information on how to help those impacted by helping people donate to the recovery effort.
“We are a community in need, and we will be for a very long time,” stressed East Palestine Community Foundation President Marty Grim, whose local charity funds other town nonprofits, like churches and schools.
According to the media release, Wirks worked validating information by making phone calls, sifting through available information online, and connecting with his family, friends, and community contacts to compile the correct information.
Hosted on the company’s website at WirksMoving.com/East-Palestine-Support, the initiative is a combined effort by Wirks and his team, highlighting information on the train derailment effects, how to get hazardous waste disaster relief, organizations providing aid, and what to donate to those in need of disaster assistance.
The resource will be updated regularly as new information is released.
In addition to monetary support, residential carbon filter air purification systems and whole house water purification systems, 400 of each, are currently the most urgent need, Wirks found.
Item specifics and links to purchase are listed on the Wirks Moving & Storage East Palestine Support resource webpage.
Born and raised in East Palestine, Wirks also gathered contact information for well water testing, Health Assessment Clinic appointments, toxicologist questions, and mental health resources.
Additionally, links to the Columbiana County Health District’s water well sampling results, Ohio Emergency Management Agency event information, EPA public drinking water test results, and updates from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine are included on the page.
After graduating from East Palestine High School in 2000, Wirks attended Kent State University and then moved to Atlanta in 2004
“When I found out about the disaster, I was distraught and had to help,” shared Wirks. “East Palestine is a very small town with several other small, similarly devasted communities surrounding it. I knew the folks there needed more help than I could give alone, and if I had trouble figuring out how to help, others were too.”