Wanted to bring in a pet snake?
Was mute and asking for water?
Was diabetic and had lost consciousness?
These are the types of challenges that come up all the time in disaster situations, when stress is high and people are more likely to be thrown for a loop by unexpected requests. That’s exactly why the Red Cross drills, drills, drills, to get workers prepared and comfortable when the unusual crops up. This is precisely what happened at a recent drill in La Grande, Oregon, which you can read about right here.
But why La Grande, a community that is fairly safe from natural disasters? As Red Crosser Tony Scheibe said, the possibility is real that at some point there will be a need for the establishment of an emergency shelter. He noted that an extended weather-caused closure of Interstate 84 could necessitate it.
Another could be an accident at the Umatilla Chemical Depot, which has poisonous munitions. The possibility of this is so real that the federal government has provided the La Grande Red Cross office (part of the Northeastern Oregon District) with added supplies to prepare it for a mass of evacuees from Umatilla County. Now we’re ready to house and feed 500 people for 72 hours.
If you’re interested in becoming a disaster volunteer, check out the process here. We can’t promise you’ll get to deal with pet snakes, but it’s still guaranteed to be an exciting experience!