I joined the Red Cross in October 2005 after seeing the need brought on by Katrina. I was one of hundreds of people that stepped forward to offer help. Since my job did not allow me to deploy to a disaster out of state, I joined the Disaster Action teams. This group is the volunteers that respond to local disasters, mainly fires, and offers assistance in the way of hotels, food, clothing, access to to mental health workers and nurses, personal hygiene items and a follow up with our professional caseworkers for further assistance. This group of responders generally get a call in the middle of the night and are asked to respond on very short notice. These volunteers are exceptional people, willing to give up their time and sleep to assist clients in their moments of need. Many times the clients have no place to stay and have lost all their possessions.
Since joining this group, I have lost track of how many calls I have been too. Did you know that Oregon Trail Chapter responds to an emergency call about every forty hours? I have been to three calls in one day! You may not hear about it, but the Red Cross is out there in the community on a daily basis, helping where they can. I have found it very rewarding to help in this capacity as well as many others with the Chapter.
I hope in future posts to share with you my experiences and continuing work with the Red Cross. I have been able to work in many activities and help in many disasters large and small. I have learned how important it is to be prepared for disasters. Nothing is more important than having a 72 hour kit and a plan. Such simple steps can make a huge difference. Explore our website and learn what you can to to better prepare your family and yourself.