Disaster Update: Syria

February 27, 2014

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent jointly delivered emergency relief to over 4,000 families in Barzeh over the last two days. The 19-truck humanitarian convoy was the first to enter the Rural Damascus district since a truce was brokered there earlier this month.

“The convoy arrived in Barzeh yesterday and delivered medical, food and other items, including kitchen sets, blankets and mattresses, throughout the day to local committees,” said Daphnée Maret, the deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Syria, who oversaw the operation. “ICRC economic security and health specialists had assessed the humanitarian situation in Barzeh last week. This is significant, as it paved the way for the impartial delivery of assistance, including medical relief, in an area directly affected by fighting.”

Local committees and local health personnel will start to distribute the aid provided by the ICRC at several easily accessible distribution points in the district today.


Story: Getting Supplies to Clients in Colorado

September 23, 2013

WAREHOUSE2

By CARL MANNING
To the casual visitor, it looks like a whirlwind of chaos with big trucks backing up to the unloading doors, forklifts zipping around the massive warehouse floor unloading dozens of pallets and then loading them into other vehicles for delivery to area affected by the Colorado flooding.

In recent days, more than 17 truckloads of supplies including personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, lanterns, tents, sleeping bags, rakes, tarps, gloves, flashlights, colors and insect repellent has arrived.

“We want to get the product out to the client because they are ones who are needing it and they are needing it now,” Bos said.

On a recent day, Bos and his crew were busy loading a truck with blankets, gloves and cleanup kits heading out to one of the flooded areas. He watched to make sure everything was loaded properly and secured for the ride before heading out.

While overseeing the warehouse operation is a big part of his work, Bos feels he has another role to make sure that the money donated to the Red Cross is being used efficiently.

“I don’t see where anything we do shouldn’t be concerned with the donor dollar,” he said. “They are ones who are paying for this and we need to respect that.”

Bos, who retired after an Air Force career, said he is volunteering with the Red Cross because “it’s time to give back to the community.”
It’s a job with long hours and no pay, but Bos said his reward is knowing that what he is doing is helping those in need.

“You can’t put a dollar figure on it,” he said.


May 30, 2013

carney

Photo: Ken Garcia

Story: Ken Garcia

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “All of the four buildings on my 40 acres are gone”.

Kelly came to the Carney Senior Center where the American Red Cross has set up a distribution center for residents impacted by the tornado. Along with her mother-in-law, Janet Young, they were able to get some gloves and personal hygiene items. Kelly is just one of the thousands of Oklahoman being helped by the Red Cross in Carney, Wellston, Luther, Shawnee, Bethel Acres, Little Axe and Moore.

“Everywhere you look, they’re there,” she said. “They’ve given us food and water. The Red Cross took care of us. I can’t thank them enough.”

Both Kelly and Janet said when they get things rebuilt, they’re going to help their local Red Cross.

“They’ve gone above and beyond and have thought of things I never even knew I would need,” she said.

For more on what the Red Cross is doing in Oklahoma for tornado relief, visit www.redcross.org.


May 27, 2013

Disaster relief worker aids neighbors in need

Gordon Burgess, site manager at the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Little Axe Elementary School in Norman, OK, traveled from Woodward, OK, where he works at the Red Cross in disaster relief.

He said last year his community was struck by a tornado and received significant aid from the Red Cross. He is happy he can now give back to another community through the same organization.


Giving and Serving in Coney Island

February 11, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By Michael de Vulpillieres, Communications Officer, American Red Cross Greater New York Region

“Water came in from both sides,” said Connie Hulla, pointing to the walls of her Coney Island church exactly 100 days after Sandy made landfall.

She had seen major storms here before, just never anything like this.

“Sandy nearly flooded the entire peninsula,” she said.

Hulla is pastor at the Coney Island Gospel Assembly, a church on the peninsula’s North side, a densely populated area comprised of housing projects and row houses.

“This community was struggling before the storm,” said Hulla. “Now it’s devastated.”

Like most of the buildings around it, Connie’s church was badly damaged. She considers herself lucky. “The whole structure could have come down,” she said.

The church’s basement, which housed the boiler and the electrical system, was destroyed. Thirteen feet of water flowed through an area that, days earlier, served as a homeless shelter.

But despite the damage, the church almost immediately became a relief hub in Coney Island; a safe place for the community to find donated clothing, food, relief supplies, and hope.

“We’ve just done what we’ve always done,” Hulla recalled. “Giving and serving.”

That was the basis on which her father founded the church 55 years ago.

“My family started the church to meet a lot of the needs caused by the serious levels of poverty here,” said Hulla.

Over the years, Hulla’s church has become an institution in Coney Island. So after Sandy, it was logical for residents to come here seeking help.

Within hours of Sandy’s landfall, donated food, water, clothing, clean-up supplies, diapers, and other items poured in, and thousands of locals lined up every day and night seeking assistance.

Hulla has been addressing needs for Sandy relief around the clock. Early on, she and her team of volunteers worked 18 to 20 hour days. She said that even today, it’s still a 24/7 job. (A job in which no one actually gets paid.)

Throughout her response to the storm, Hulla has received assistance from the American Red Cross.

“Everything the Red Cross does here makes a difference,” she said.

It began when truckloads of clothing and relief supplies were delivered to the church.

The organization has also provided thousands of meals to Coney Island residents which Hulla called, “a Godsend.”

She was referring to the dire situation in Coney Island, one where the storm took out so much of the local infrastructure that finding food and preparing meals has been so difficult.

To help, Red Cross food trucks canvassed nearby streets distributing hot meals, water and snacks. Additional Red Cross vehicles were stationed in front of Hulla’s church distributing food to hundreds more every day. Today, the Red Cross continues to deliver meals.

“Seeing the Red Cross sends a message of hope to the community.” Hulla said, “It tells us that we are not abandoned.”

In addition to prepared meals, grocery boxes funded by the American Red Cross are also distributed from Hulla’s church.

“A lot of people here were having a tough time purchasing food before the storm. Now, with the added financial burden that Sandy has caused, it’s almost impossible.”

But for a neighborhood that has seen its share of tough times, Hulla said the significance of the Red Cross goes beyond food and supplies.

“Red Cross volunteers bring such positive energy,” Hulla said. “We are not used to that. It lifts people up; it infuses the community. We need that here.”

“And for me personally,” Hulla added. “Seeing them tells me that I don’t have to do this alone.”


Red Cross Is A Welcome Sight For Sandy Clean Up Crews

November 28, 2012

Image

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: Staten Island Resident Finds Relief

November 16, 2012


VIDEO: Red Crosser from Tulsa arrives in Tampa

August 25, 2012

Disaster Alert: Severe Weather Reported in Southern States

April 5, 2011

Disaster Alert

Louisiana – Severe storms passed throughout the state and destroyed homes, damaged others and caused power outages that affected thousands of residents on Monday.

The Southeast Louisiana and Acadiana Area Red Cross Chapters deployed Disaster Action Team members, placed a shelter on stand-by, and assisted disaster victims as needed.

 

Mississippi – Severe storms damaged homes and buildings, leaving thousands of residents throughout the state without power on Monday.

Disaster Action Team members from the Northeast Mississippi Chapter opened a shelter and provided assistance to evacuees as needed.

 

Tennessee – Strong storms destroyed or damaged dozens of homes and left more than 100,000 residents without power throughout the central portion of the state on Monday.

The Nashville Area Chapter deployed Disaster Action Team members, opened a shelter, placed others on stand-by and staffed local Emergency Operations Center.

The Greater Chattanooga Area Chapter staffed the county Emergency Operations Center and is monitoring situation to provide response, if necessary.

 

Kentucky – Severe storms passed throughout the state and destroyed homes, damaged others, downed trees and power lines on Monday.  One reported injury.

All Chapters in the affected areas, including the Louisville Area and Bluegrass Chapters, deployed Disaster Action Team members and provided assistance to victims as needed.

 

North Carolina – Severe weather passed throughout the state damaging homes, downing trees and causing power outage to almost 130,000 residents.

The Rutherford County and Asheville-Mountain Area chapters are monitoring the situation and continuing to do Disaster Assessment and provide assistance as needed.


Disaster Update: Earthquake in Japan

March 18, 2011

Disaster Update

Japan

“The compassion the American people have demonstrated over the past week through their generous support to the American Red Cross is incredibly uplifting at a time when we are dealing with such an immense humanitarian tragedy. This financial support is very much needed and continues to be welcomed to help the hundreds of thousands of lives that will forever be changed by this disaster.”

– Quote from Satoshi Sugai, Director of Disaster Relief with the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Nuclear Power Plants
Authorities have taken precautions and evacuated the area surrounding the Fukushima power plant. The Japanese Red Cross is supporting evacuations from the exclusion zone, and continues to closely monitor the situation.

A specialist team at the Nagasaki Red Cross hospital is on standby and ready to receive patients if required. This team has more than 80 years’ experience in treating patients for contamination.

Service to the Armed Forces
All American Red Cross SAF staff currently stationed at military installations in the Far East are preparing for Noncombatant Evacuation Operations. The Red Cross is supporting military operations through registration of evacuees; escort duty; and
assisting in military sheltering operations.

As is the normal practice for a disaster, Red Cross station managers are in the military Emergency Operations Centers for their respective installations and assisting as needed. Red Cross staff at Yokota Air Base, Japan, continue to provide canteen services for inbound military rescue/relief personnel.


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