California Volunteers and Red Cross Call on AmeriCorps Disaster Teams to Aid Disaster Response

CaliforniaVolunteers is the state commission for the AmeriCorps program in California.  In 2016, CaliforniaVolunteers partnered with the American Red Cross chapter in Los Angeles to create a new AmeriCorps program that would be a deployable resource for statewide disaster response and recovery efforts. This program, called the California AmeriCorps Disaster Team (CADT), recruited 20 members in its first year.

These members are stationed at different Red Cross Chapters throughout California and perform typical AmeriCorps functions during what is called “Blue Skies,” a common term to describe when no disaster is occurring. These members receive specialized training throughout the year and are deployable by CaliforniaVolunteers in partnership with Red Cross during “Grey Skies,” a common term to describe when a disaster has occurred and response and/or recovery efforts are underway.

The CADT has deployed twice. In September of 2016, 10 members deployed to assist with Haitian Refugee support operations in San Diego. Recently, in February of 2017, 12 members deployed to assist with Oroville Dam evacuation shelter operations.

On Sunday evening, February 12th, 2017, the American Red Cross was tasked by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to establish shelters to support the evacuation of 200,000 residents that were threatened by the Oroville Dam.  Due to the enormity of the request, the decision to deploy CADT members to support shelter operations was made immediately.

Three CADT members, working with the American Red Cross Gold Country Region were activated on Sunday; two members supported the Red Cross Department Operation Center (DOC) in the planning and operations sections, one of whom was also assigned to the State Operations Center (SOC) for a few days. The third Sacramento CADT member was immediately assigned to the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds shelter in Chico, California to assist with staff scheduling.

Nine additional CADT members, along with one California Safe Corps AmeriCorps member, arrived Tuesday morning. Three CADT members from the American Red Cross of Central California were assigned to support the American Red Cross warehouse located in Sacramento. These members worked alongside other volunteers to sort and pack shelter supplies. These members arrived on Tuesday, February 14th and stayed until Tuesday, February 28th.

The remaining six CADT members, comprised of three members from the American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties, one member from the Northern California Coastal Region, one member from the Los Angeles Region, and one additional California Safe Corps member were assigned to the Chico Shelter to support shelter operations. These members performed various duties including registration check-in and admin support for the shelter. These members arrived on Tuesday, February 14th and stayed until Friday, February 24th.

CaliforniaVolunteers also worked with the Pacific Region NCCC Campus and Red Cross to deploy four NCCC teams to support shelter operations at the Red Cross shelter in Chico. The first team of 13 NCCC team members arrived at 11:30am on Sunday, February 12th, just hours after the shelter was opened. Additional NCCC teams arrived to assist throughout the time that the shelter opened. All told, 43 NCCC team members assisted shelter operations in Chico, with the last team leaving when the shelter was closed on Friday, February 24th. NCCC has additional teams available to assist with other storm response efforts as needed.

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During Red Cross Month Recognize Heroes Who Bring Hope to People in Need

oroville-clientSacramento, CA, March 2, 2017 — The American Red Cross is recognizing the country’s everyday heroes during Red Cross Month.

“March is Red Cross Month, the perfect time to honor our Red Cross volunteers, blood donors and financial contributors who bring hope to people facing life’s emergencies,” said Gary Strong, CEO for the Red Cross Gold Country Region. “During Red Cross Month, we thank them for their tremendous support.”

March has been recognized as Red Cross Month for more than 70 years. All of our presidents have designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world.

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The Red Cross depends on local heroes to fulfill its mission. Every eight minutes, Red Cross disaster workers respond to a community disaster, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world It must collect nearly 14,000 donations of blood every day to meet patient needs. It trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills. And it supports the vaccination of children around the globe against measles and rubella.

In fiscal year 2016, the Red Cross Gold Country Region assisted 1,396 families affected by local emergencies, provided 3,257 services to military members and their families and trained 39,263 people in lifesaving skills.

“It’s easy to become a Red Cross community hero,” said Robin Friedman, Regional Disaster Program Officer for Gold Country Region. “Be ready for an emergency by creating a preparedness plan for your home. Test your smoke alarms and tell your neighbors to do the same. Or sign up to be a Red Cross volunteer or make a financial donation.”

More information about how people can support the organization is available on
redcross.org. The Red Cross is not a bday2government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.
An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.

The Red Cross Gold Country Region, based in Sacramento, CA, hosts two chapters, the Northeastern California Chapter and the Sierra-Delta Chapter. We provide services to 24 counties and more than 4.4 million people. In 2017 we are celebrating 100 years of service with a number of celebrations. To find out more visit www.redcross.org/goldcountry.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

 

 

Red Cross Shelter in Turlock Closed at 3:00 PM

disaster-response-updateRed Cross urges people to stay informed about developing weather conditions

Sacramento, CA, February 27, 2017, 3:30 P.M. – The Red Cross shelter at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, CA closed at 3:00 P.M., Monday, February 27, 2017.  Red Cross disaster caseworkers and California Social Services teams have met with each shelter resident to determine their needs and helped them develop a plan for their recovery efforts. The closure decision is based on close coordination between the Red Cross and Stanislaus County officials.

Now that the shelter at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds is closed there will be no shelters accepting residents in the Red Cross Gold Country Region and this will be the final update for this event.

Two other shelters remain open in other parts of California for those affected by flooding:

Seventh Day Adventist Church in Lakeport, CA

Seven Trees Community Center in San Jose, CA

For a map of available Red Cross shelters visit www.redcross.org and click on Find A Shelter or call 800-REDCROSS (800-233-2767).

For more information about preparedness visit our preparedness website at www.redcross.org/prepare.

All Californians are urged to download the free mobile app, Emergency. The app is an all hazards information monitoring app that receives warning information from the National Weather Service and other emergency services. It also provides detailed preparedness and response information at your fingertips. The app is available in iPhone and Android formats from www.redcross.org/apps or through your preferred app vendor.

The decreasing flood threat will allow the Red Cross to decrease its “footprint” in terms of disaster response. According to Tracy McBroom, the Division Director for Disaster State Relation in Sacramento, “If the conditions change and warrant a response, rest assured that the Red Cross will remain prepared to respond,” McBroom said. “We will remain in a heightened state of readiness through the coming months.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

Help people affected by disasters like floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

For more updates, follow the Sierra-Delta Chapter of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RCSierraDelta..

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Red Cross To Close Shelter in Turlock

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Sacramento, CA, February 26, 2017, 5:00 P.M. – The Red Cross shelter at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, CA will close at 3:00 P.M., Monday, February 27, 2017. Red Cross disaster caseworkers and California Social Services teams have met with each shelter resident to determine their needs and helped them develop a plan for their recovery efforts. The closure decision is based on close coordination between the Red Cross and Stanislaus County officials.

Once the shelter at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds is closed there will be no shelters accepting residents in the Red Cross Gold Country Region.

While the flooding threat has diminished across much of California, the Red Cross urges everyone to stay ready for emergency evacuation. That readiness includes maintaining a 72-hour evacuation kit, an evacuation plan and staying informed about current conditions and evacuation notices. For more information about preparedness visit our preparedness website at www.redcross.org/prepare.

All Californians are urged to download the free mobile app, Emergency. The app is an all hazards information monitoring app that receives warning information from the National Weather Service and other emergency services. It also provides detailed preparedness and response information at your fingertips.

The decreasing flood threat will allow the Red Cross to decrease its “footprint” in terms of disaster response for the Oroville Dam Spillway response and the other California flood zones. Tracy McBroom is the Division Director for Disaster State Relation in Sacramento and continues to work closely with emergency management agencies. “Rest assured that the Red Cross will remain prepared to respond,” McBroom said. “We will remain in a heightened state of readiness through the coming months.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.
Help people affected by disasters like floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

For more updates, follow the Sierra-Delta Chapter of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RCSierraDelta.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Shelter Remains Open in Stanislas County

Story and photos by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross

The Red Cross Shelter at the Lathrop Community Center located at 15557 5th Street in Lathrop, CA  95330 has closed.

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The Red Cross shelter at the fairgrounds in Turlock. 

As a result of local flooding the Red Cross evacuation shelter remains open at the
Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 1546 N. Soderquist Ave., Turlock, CA. Seventeen people stayed at the shelter overnight Friday.

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Turlock Mayor Gary Seiseth(L) and Congressman Jeff Denham (C) stand with shelter manager Nancy Reeves at the shelter in Turlock, CA

Congressman Jeff Denham stopped by the shelter to talk with the displaced people. He also brought donations of clothing and shoes that was collected from the community. “We really appreciate the work that the Red Cross has done to help our people,” Congressman Denham said. “This has been a great partnership between the Red Cross, Stanislaus County and the city of Turlock.”

Shelter Manager Nancy Reeves has been at the shelter since the beginning and maintains a “tight ship” for the residents. “We’re here to help them through this ordeal,” Reeves said. “The people we have helped have been very appreciative.”

The Salvation Army has been providing meals at the shelter and Stanisclaus Community Services Agency has been at the shelter helping clients find local resources. Red Cross client case workers and Disaster Mental Health professionals have also been working with each shelter resident to help them determine their next steps.

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Salvation Army volunteers Mark Ford(L), Jean Raven and Nick Patterson(R) prepare lunch at the Red Cross shelter in Turlock.

Water levels continue to rise as swollen area dams and and reservoirs release water causing rivers and streams to stay at high levels. The Red Cross will continue to maintain the shelter at Turlock as long as there are people displaced and in need.Shelter Manager Nancy Reeves has been at the shelter since the beginning and maintains a “tight ship” for the residents. “We’re here to help them through this ordeal,” Reeves said. “The people we have helped have been very appreciative.”

The Red Cross urges everyone to have an emergency evacuation kit, an evacuation plan and to stay informed about current conditions.

Evacuation kits may be purchased from the Red Cross at www.redcross.org or you can create your own from items already in your home. A $10 donations may be made by texting CAFLOODS to 90999.  Larger donations may be made by going to www.redcross.org/donate or directly through your local Red Cross chapter.

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or have special needs
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
  • Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself

STAY SAFE

With more unsettled weather forecast, the Red Cross encourages people in affected areas to replenish emergency kits, have an evacuation plan, and stay informed. Obey all evacuation orders and do not enter flooded areas. When in doubt: Turn around, don’t drown! Preparedness, response, and recovery checklists for Winter Storm/Power Outages, Flood Safety, and more are available at RedCross.org, by clicking “Get Help” and “Types of Emergencies.”

We urge you to share these Red Cross preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE RED CROSS APP – EMERGENCY

 The EMERGENCY app features weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm, and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets you use social media outlets to let family and friends know you are okay. The apps include a Spanish language toggle switch and can be downloaded by visiting redcross.org/apps.

“I’M SAFE”

In an emergency, letting your loved ones know you are safe can bring them great peace of mind. The Red Cross can help you stay in touch with loved ones after a disaster. All of the Red Cross mobile apps feature an “I’m Safe” button that allows users to post a message to their social accounts, letting friends and family know they are out of harm’s way.

VOLUNTEERING

At this time, the American Red Cross Gold Country Region is fortunate to have volunteers who are trained, ready and willing to support our response to the flooding in our communities. We thank individuals and community groups who are willing to support this effort and encourage them to register to become new volunteers to help with future disaster responses. Learn more and register online at redcross.org/volunteer and complete the online application.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

Help people affected by disasters like flood and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

For more updates, follow the Sierra-Delta Chapter of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RCSierraDelta or the Northeastern Chapter @RedCrossNECal.

Red Cross Shelter Status

Sacramento CA, February 24, 2017, Noon update – The Red Cross shelter at Los Molinos High School in Los Molinos, CA (Tehama County) closed at 5:00 pm Thursday,
February 23, 2017. While open the shelter served as a temporary home for 47 evacuees providing comfort and care along with 131 meals and 220 snacks.

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A Red Cross caseworker meets with a family at the Silver Dollar Shelter earlier this week. Photo by Marko Kokic/American Red Cross

The Red Cross shelter at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, CA closed Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm.

Shelters remain open at the following locations:

  • Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 1546 N. Soderquist Ave., Turlock, CA
  • Lathrop Community Center, 15557 5th Street, Lathrop, CA

While the flooding threat has diminished across northern California and few people remain at open shelters, the Red Cross urges everyone to stay ready for emergency evacuation. That readiness includes maintaining a 72 hour evacuation kit, an evacuation plan and staying informed about current conditions and evacuation notices. For more information about preparedness visit our preparedness website.

All Californians are urged to download the free mobile app, Emergency. The app is an all hazards information monitoring app that receives warning information from the National Weather Service and other emergency services. It also provides detailed preparedness and response information at your fingertips.

The decreasing flood threat will allow the Red Cross to decrease its “footprint” in terms of disaster response for the Oroville Dam Spillway response. Tracy McBroom is the Division Director for Disaster State Relation in Sacramento and continues to work closely with emergency management agencies. “Rest assured that the Red Cross will remain prepared to respond,” McBroom said. “We will remain in a heightened state of readiness through the Spring months.”

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Volunteers unload supplies for evacuees at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, CA. Photo by Marko Kokic/American Red Cross

The Red Cross responded quickly to the emergency declaration and evacuation warnings. That response is provided through Red Cross Disaster Relief. If you would like to support the Red Cross Disaster Relief you can donate a http://www.redcross.org/donate. You can also send a $10 donation by texting the word CAFLOODS to 90999. Your donation will help the Red Cross continue to maintain a higher state of readiness in California.

 

 

A Keen Sense of Purpose for these Folsom Six

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Story by Cindy Huge, American Red Cross Volunteer

 

“It gives us hope to be able to help the community.”

These were the unexpected words spoken from an unexpected source. Justine Aldana is that unexpected source and as she along with five other female offenders from Folsom Women’s Facility were unloading 10,000 box lunches to be used for disaster relief.

As the women were watching the news, they noticed another offender crying uncontrollably at the possibility that her family was among those evacuated. Justine and the other offenders felt like they had to do something to help. But their sense of helplessness was heightened due to their present incarceration. Luckily, their opportunity came last week when tasked with providing supplies to the Red Cross shelter at Cal Expo in Sacramento.

On Tuesday, the women were excited to help move 313 cases of boxed lunches out of cold storage, take inventory, and load them onto a large semi-truck. Their training and certification in food safety and handling as well as forklift driving made them well qualified for this job.

Helping their neighbors has given these women a keen sense of purpose. The meals will soon be distributed to eager shelter residents and workers.

“It makes me so happy to be able to help others and will continue to do so once I am able to volunteer for the American Red Cross,” said Justine at the end of the day, as her van pulled out of the parking lot and away from the shelter.

The success of the Red Cross mission is dependent on volunteers from all walks of life. Learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Visit redcross.org/volunteer.