Red Cross Is A Welcome Sight For Sandy Clean Up Crews

November 28, 2012

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Photo and Story by Dan Bedell

Navigating past mountains of mud-caked, molding furniture, appliances, drywall, flooring and other debris that line almost every street in Jersey shore communities like Seaside Heights has become routine for emergency response vehicle (ERV) teams with the American Red Cross.

Their efforts are clearly appreciated by home and business owners, staff and work crews hired in the weeks since hurricane Sandy to rip out furnishings, walls, flooring, fixtures and insulation in a race against time to reduce the risks of rot and mold.

“Here, you look like you could definitely use more of these,” shouts ERV driver Dale Kiriaze of Reno, NV, offering safety masks to grimy-faced workers who applaud the truck’s arrival after steering around debris, potholes and puddles from a steady rain.

“Just promise me you won’t go using them to rob a bank,” he adds, drawing a much-needed chuckle from weary workers who gratefully accept the free masks and other items from Kiriaze and his Red Cross colleague, Kelly Phillips of Lake Tahoe, CA.

“I could really use a bottle of water,” says one worker in muddy overalls, to which Phillips hands him a dozen bottles to share with others in the group, then tosses each a fresh pairs of work gloves and offers clean-up supplies like disinfecting bleach, buckets, mops, garbage bags and tarps.

 

The Red Cross team then moved to another street to repeat the process. Their efforts, and those of ERV teams from across the country, have to date added up to more than six million relief items distributed free to thousands of people in New Jersey, New York and other states, each gift welcome as it’s one less expense they must bear in coping with the cost, not to mention the stress and back aches, of recovery from Sandy.


Video: Red Cross and Southern Baptist Convention

November 14, 2012


Disaster Update: Flooding in New Jersey

March 15, 2011

Disaster Update

New Jersey

Shelter

The American Red Cross continues to manage the Red Cross shelter in Patterson and support the non-Red Cross shelters with cots, blankets, comfort kits, towels, etc. There have been 133 overnight stays in the American Red Cross shelter.

Bulk Distribution

The Red Cross is continuing mobile bulk distribution routes in the following communities on Tuesday, March 15, 2011: Fairfield, Wayne, Lincoln Park, Pompton Lakes, & Pompton Plains. We will be distributing clean up kits, cleaning supplies such as gloves, and other recovery supplies.

To date we have distributed 686 clean up kits and 183 other bulk items.

Mobile Feeding

The Red Cross is continuing mobile feeding routes to support residents and responders in the following communities on Tuesday March 15, 2011: Fairfield, Wayne, Lincoln Park, & Pompton Plains. A full lunch, box dinner and snacks will be provided.

To date we have served 2,147 meals and 956 snacks.

Disaster Assessment

The Red Cross Disaster Assessment teams will be working in the areas where flood waters have receded to identify damage and the needs of the community. Currently disaster assessment is 38% complete and they have identified 683 dwellings affected by the flood waters, with 207 suffering major damage or destroyed.

Staffing

The majority of the relief operation staff have come from NJ. Three staff from PA and one staff member from GA have deployed to support the operation.

To date 114 staff members (volunteer & paid) from NJ have served on the relief operation.


Disaster Alert: Gas Leak in New Jersey

September 15, 2010

Disaster Alert

New Jersey – A gas leak in Flemington resulted in the evacuation of a seniors center yesterday. Residents were allowed return later that day.

The ARC of Central New Jersey Chapter opened a reception center and provided Mass Care to the affected residents and first responders.


Story: New Jersey Couple Committed to Serving its Community

April 1, 2010

This story is written by Eric Gordon, Red Cross Volunteer

New Jersey Floods 2010
Red Cross Volunteers Barbara and Mark Nowakowski unload a clean-up kit from an ERV in Manville, New Jersey.

The American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) came to a halt in front of a blue house in a Middlesex, New Jersey neighborhood. Through the attached loudspeaker a voice could be heard, “The American Red Cross is passing out snacks, water and clean-up kits. If you would like water, snacks or clean-up kits, please come out to the Red Cross truck.” The same message was repeated once more, the calm voice complimenting the chirping birds located in nearby oak trees.

Mark Nowakowski was sitting in the driver’s seat, the microphone held in his right hand. Waiting patiently for residents affected by recent flooding, Mark and his wife, Barbara, debated over whether or not they should continue further up the road. After a few minutes passed, Mark released the brake and headed towards 7th Street.

Read More >>


Fast Facts: New Jersey Floods 2010

March 29, 2010

The following information shows our total service delivery since the beginning of the New Jersey floods:


Press Release: Red Cross Prepares for Additional Flooding in New Jersey

March 29, 2010

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ, March 29, 2010 – The American Red Cross is preparing for potential flooding from heavy rains predicted to fall today and tomorrow. Recent storms caused flooding that affected more than 11,000 homes throughout New Jersey, 3,250 of which received major damage or were destroyed.

During the past two weeks, 530 local and regional Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 85,000 meals and snacks and 4,600 clean-up kits to residents affected by the floods.

Additionally, Red Cross shelters in northern and central New Jersey have housed over 800 individuals and Red Cross emotional care counselors have met with 1,600 residents.

Read More >>


Story: All It Took Was One Phone Call

March 29, 2010

This story is written by Eric Gordon, Public Affairs Volunteer.

New Jersey Floods 2010
From left to right: Bound Brook Mayor Carey Pilato, Red Cross Staff Paige Roberts and Amy Sutton.

As the Passaic River swelled on March 13, 2010, it became apparent that several local residents would need to be evacuated from their homes. Almost instantaneously, Bound Brook’s Mayor, Office of Emergency Management, Fire and Police Departments worked together to undergo a seven-hour evacuation operation that rescued 327 residents from their flooded homes. According to Jim Suk, manager of the Bound Brook OEM, “All departments – the EMS, police and fire worked extremely well together. Overall, the coordination for rescues was excellent.”

During the evacuation process, first responders waded through the floodwater in order to transport local residents by boat onto waiting buses. The buses then continued to American Red Cross Emergency Shelters in Bound Brook and Raritan. As Mayor Carey Pilato commented, “All it took was one phone call to Amy [Sutton, CEO of the Greater Somerset County Chapter of the American Red Cross]. Everything started into motion immediately – the Red Cross’s planning was exquisite.”

Read More >>


Story: Fire Department Floods, Continues to Assist Affected Residents

March 29, 2010

This story is written by Red Cross volunteer Eric Gordon.

New Jersey Floods 2010
Red Cross Worker Wendy Polley speaks with Bound Brook firefighters

On March 13, 2010, the Bound Brook Fire Department mobilized due to rising water in the Passaic River. In addition to sending out teams of firefighters to evacuate affected residents, the department was forced to abandon its own fire houses due to extensive flood damage.

It wasn’t fancy, but the BBFD set up a makeshift headquarters in a parking lot behind a local flower shop. Across the street, American Red Cross volunteers distributed food and water.

Working out of a tent, the fire department was able to safely evacuate over 300 residents from their flooded homes. Firefighters guided rescue boats for more than seven hours, standing in the floodwater in order to move affected residents to safe ground. From there, individuals were transported to Red Cross Emergency Shelters, one of which continues to operate at Raritan Valley Community College.

Read More >>


Photos: New Jersey Floods 2010

March 24, 2010

New Jersey Floods 2010

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View “2010 – New Jersey Floods” set on Flickr >>


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