A Day–or Two–in the Life of a DAT Member

HomeFireBlog

By Heath Wakelee

On Monday, August 15, the phone rang while I was giving a disaster preparedness talk at the Marriott Hotel in Rancho Cordova. Ten minutes later, I looked at the phone and saw a Disaster Assistance Team (DAT) response request. Three adults needed help. I called Teresa Cameron to see if she would find someone to go on the call.  She volunteered to go herself. Yeah, Teresa!

I left Rancho Cordova, picked up Teresa in Roseville and we raced up to Auburn to find none of the three occupants of the single-family home at the scene.  One of the occupants was driving up to Nevada County, so we called Disaster Program Manager (DPM) Tami Martin.  Tami then called and asked Ned Russell from our Northeast Chapter to assist the client.  Thankfully, Ned agreed.  We left Red Cross contact information at the fire location.

That night I went to sleep at 9:30 because my alarm was set to go off at 4:00 A.M. so I could help out at the Channel 13/31 telethon for flood and fire victims. I wasn’t asleep for long. The phone rang at 1:30 A.M. with another fire call in Auburn: seven adults and two children.  I called Beryl Mayne and she said she could respond.  Others were hard to come by, but Herman Buckley in Roseville agreed to go.

I checked my phone again.  Another DAT call.

This one was for one adult in Roseville, so at 1:45 A.M., I called Teresa—again.  She is great!  She said she could respond, so I turned the Roseville call over to her.  Teresa called Arry Murphy and the two headed off to eventually find two adults with one child needing assistance. (Very frequently the head count is different from what we are initially told and often the address is close, but not 100% accurate.  We deal with the situation we find when we get there.)

Into the car. I headed for the Red Cross office in Auburn, where Beryl, Herman and I planned to meet.  Our call was in a remote part of Auburn and we finally arrived at about 2:45 A.M.  We ended up with three family units all needing assistance.  At 4:00 A.M. we headed to the Auburn office to get WiFi reception so we could activate their Client Assistance Cards (CACs).  Finally finished, we called the clients to inform them that their CACs had been activated and told them what their case numbers were.

Teresa and Arry did a great job on their call in Roseville. Now I could try to be a perky person and answer phones in West Sacramento. I arrived at the telethon at about 6:15 A.M. and had a good, positive experience.  That is, until around 1 P.M. when my head was hurting from hitting the table (not really, but I was tired). Janelle Weiner (our temporary Lilly Wyatt, Communications Director) asked if I would like to come back at 5 P.M. for a TV interview and I politely declined.

I headed home to do the DCSOPS reports and finally napped at 4:00 P.M.

Placer DAT had three DAT calls in 12 hours—a record for Placer County.  We did it and could have handled another call or two.  Placer DAT rocks!  Thanks again to Teresa, Arry, Beryl, Herman and Ned.

Many Regions, One Purpose

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Sand Fire – July 2016

A resourceful development officer and some swift correspondence across regional Red Cross lines has helped launch the recovery relief process for a Southern California firefighter whose home was destroyed in the Sand Fire.

 

Holding HandsOccupied with the demands of fighting the blaze, which to date has consumed over 40,000 acres and 18 structures, the firefighter was not able to tap into Red Cross services after he learned of his lost home. He had secured a temporary place to stay, but his departure date from that location was rapidly approaching.

That’s when his childhood friend Laurie Gallo stepped in. Gallo called Kristen Kirkpatrick, Chief Development Officer for the Gold Country Region, with the news of her friend’s unfortunate loss. Knowing the firefighter and his family could need long-term recovery assistance, Kirkpatrick immediately reached out to Los Angeles Region colleague, Davi Weber.

Weber soon zipped a message back to Gold Country that Disaster Case Manager Alex Rose would work to contact the firefighter and open a case file for him right away. With a case established, the firefighter can receive immediate assistance as well as help developing a long-term recovery plan.

Working as one Red Cross, Gold Country and Los Angeles came together to provide essential, timely services for a first responder who put others’ needs before his own. The Red Cross Los Angeles Region has provided shelter, meals, snacks and comfort items to hundreds of evacuees since the Sand Fire began.

To see more photos of the American Red Cross Sand Fire response,  please visit here.

Seniors Take Charge in their Community Installing Smoke Alarms

It’s about Time…

Two minutes, to be exact.

In this agonizingly short timeframe, a family can win or lose its fight to escape a home fire and the lethal smoke created by that fire.   One device can even the odds for a family:  tested, working smoke alarms.

Our golden age community members understand this; they know there’s never any time to waste so these seniors didn’t.

Partnering with the American Red Cross, they took matters into their own hands.  They knocked on doors, hauled ladders, drilled into walls, mounted alarms, replaced dead batteries, shared fire prevention tips, and documented their results in a smoke alarm installation campaign. In just four-days they saw 20% of their neighborhood homes equipped with brand new 10-year-battery smoke alarms.  The group visited more than 100 homes installing 225 alarms.

They were the disaster volunteers of Mobile County Club in Rancho Cordova who carried out the project with the support of their management and Home Owners Association.

Nothing stopped them, not even temperatures which topped 100 degrees.  Red Cross staff and volunteers, in some cases half the age of their clients, did their best to keep up.  “They set a pace we haven’t seen before,” said Myisha Aban, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Manager. “These people are so resilient and delightful. I wish my grandmother lived here.”

Equally important, residents were given safety literature emphasizing the all-imperative escape plan, ensuring that a two-minute evacuation strategy would not fail due to blocked or inaccessible exits or pathways to safety unknown to anyone in the household.

Spearheading the charge was Antonio Martinez, HOA Treasurer and the tireless promoter of disaster preparedness for his community of mobile homes.  Tony initiated this project when he called the Red Cross inquiring for free vests.  Joining Tony were residents Bob Schroeder, Lyle Fellows, Bill Johnston, Darrill Sturgeon, Jorge (Chiqui) Nievies, Linda Martinez, Deborah Fieldson, and Irene Ferraro.

The group proved itself not only handy but tireless.  Keeping up with them (or trying to) were Veteran Red Cross volunteer Marcus Heningburg who oversaw Operations along with David Hansen, Todd and Terry Sanford, Isadora Marks, Reena Singh, and Patricia Davis, all of the American Red Cross.

Start to finish, the project was encouraged by Property Manager Leslie Gomez and Office Assistant Kelly Boughton; their support and hospitality contributed significantly to the event’s success.

The alarms and batteries were provided free of charge as benefits of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide movement to cut by 25% and over a five-year period deaths from home fires.

Coast-to-coast, the fire service has supported the campaign and did so here.  On the first day, a ladder company from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire walked with volunteers and encouraged neighbors to join the movement at Mobile Country Club.

…because Tony and his friends aren’t done.

They’ve got more of that Park to cover.  And they will.

Given several factors, the Red Cross encourages all mobile home parks and their managements to consider a Home Fire Campaign for smoke alarm installation and community disaster education. For more information or to schedule installations visit our website: redcross.org/GoldCountry and click on Home Fire Campaign.

News: Gold Country Fairground Shelter Closing

GoldCountryFairgroundsShelter

American Red Cross Closes Trailhead Fire Shelter at the Gold Country Fairgrounds
Urges Residents to Prepare Now for Future Wildfires

Auburn, CA, July 2, 2016 – The American Red Cross will be closing the evacuation shelter at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Placer County as of 1:00pm this afternoon.

Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted last night in Placer County resulting in no clients spending the night in the Gold Country Fairgrounds shelter in Auburn. However, the evacuation shelter at the Golden Sierra High School in El Dorado County will remain open until further notice.

“We are very pleased with the progress that has been made on containment of the Trailhead Fire and happy to know there wasn’t any damage to homes,” said Lilly Wyatt, Director of Regional Communications and Marketing for the American Red Cross. “We hope it continues to progress in a positive way for the next days.”

Red Cross volunteers will begin performing damage assessments and distributing bulk and cleaning supplies to residents of Foresthill today and tomorrow.

The Trailhead Fire is just one of the wildfires burning across the state and we know that California is prone to more wildfires due to the five-year drought. The American Red Cross urges residents to take steps now to stay safe when wildfires threaten.

“By preparing together for wildfires, we can make our families safer and our communities stronger,” Wyatt said. “We can help you and your family create a wildfire preparedness plan now, before our community is threatened.”

As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for wildfires by:

  • Downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Red Cross Emergency App contains tips on how to assemble an emergency kit and how to create a plan so all household members will know what to do in case they can’t make it home or they have to evacuate.
    • “Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows users to notify loved ones who are in an affected area. They can also use the app to let people know that they are safe. The app has a map with open Red Cross shelter locations and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. Preparedness content is available in English and Spanish. People can download the app in their app store or by going to org/apps.emergency ap
  • Creating and practicing a wildfire evacuation plan. People should learn about wildfire risks in their area and know what to do if one occurs. Plans should include a place outside the neighborhood in case family members cannot get home or need to evacuate.
  • Creating an emergency preparedness kit. Pack a first aid kit and a seven-day supply of essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration, a manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents like your insurance policies, cell phone chargers, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area and other emergency items for the whole family. Set aside household items that can be used as fire tools (e.g. a rake, ax, shovel, bucket, chain or hand saw)
  • Heeding news reports. Listen to local radio and TV stations for updated information. If threatened, be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice as wildfires can be unpredictable. Contain pets to one room so they can be located easily. Back vehicles into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
  • Preparing your home. Select building materials and plants that resist fire. Regularly clean the roof and gutters to remove flammable debris. Identify and maintain an adequate water source outside the home, such as a small pond, cistern, well or swimming pool. Make sure driveway entrances and the house number or address are clearly marked.

For more information on what to do before, during and after a wildfire, people can go to redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire.

 

People can also follow the Gold Country Region of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RCSierraDelta or @RedCrossNECal.

 

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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Trailhead Fire Update: Two Evacuation Shelters available for Trailhead Fire evacuees

Auburn, Calif., June 30, 2016 — The American Red Cross in partnership with El Dorado and Placer counties Office of Emergency Services have established two evacuation shelters for residents who have been affected by the growing Trailhead Fire.

Placer County Evacuation Center:

Gold Country Fair Grounds – Sierra Building

1273 High St, Auburn, CA 95603

There are two shelters available to provide a secure place to stay for both evacuees and their pets.

The shelters are separated due to the health and safety of our shelter guests. Red Cross is providing shelter, food, snacks, water and emotional support.

El Dorado County Evacuation Center:

Golden Sierra High School

5101 Garden Valley Road, Garden Valley, CA

This shelter is being staffed by Red Cross volunteers and managed by the El Dorado County Health and Human Services. The County is also providing a small animal pet shelter at this location.  All large animals need to be transported to 1100 Cold Springs Road, where El Dorado County Animal Services has arranged for accommodations.

The Red Cross is not providing hotel vouchers for evacuated residents, however, we’re encouraging everyone to find comfort at one of our shelters where they can find a safe place to lay down, blankets, food, water and snacks.

Disasters like this create more needs than any one organization can meet. The Red Cross works closely with government and community partners to coordinate efforts.

A public meeting will be held tonight.  Fire staff will give an informational update and answer questions from the public.  American Red Cross will be present as well.

Trailhead Fire Public Meeting:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

7:00pm

Golden Sierra High School

5101 Garden Valley Road, Garden Valley

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.

 The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

 For more information, please visit redcross.org/GoldCountry or cruzrojaamericana.org. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter (@RCSierraDelta | @RedCrossNECal) or join the conversation on Facebook’s Sierra-Delta Chapter Page or Northeastern California Page.

Update: Red Cross Moving Trailhead Fire Evacuation Shelter

 

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Trailhead Fire Continues to burn near Foresthill, CA in El Dorado and Placer Counties.

 

Placer County, Calif., June 29, 2016 — At the direction of emergency and fire officials, the American Red Cross is moving the evacuation shelter from Foresthill High School to the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

The evacuation shelter will be set up at the Sierra Building inside the fairgrounds located at 1273 High Street in Auburn, California 95604.

Yesterday, about a dozen evacuees from El Dorado and Placer counties showed up at the Foresthill High School shelter in Foresthill.

“It was a very stressful night for everyone since they are given only a few minutes to evacuate,” said Robin Brinson, Shelter Manager for the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “At the shelter, we’re providing a cooling area, water, snacks and a place to rest and wait until fire officials give them the green light to return to their homes.”

At this time, it’s critical to follow the instructions provided by local emergency workers. If you are asked to stay in your home, don’t try to leave. If you are not allowed to enter your neighborhood, please come to a Red Cross shelter until conditions are safe for you to return home.

The Red Cross encourages those who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter to bring prescription and emergency medication, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items.

For more information on what to do before, during and after a wildfire, visit our website: redcross.org.

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.

The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

For more information, please visit redcross.org/GoldCountry or cruzrojaamericana.org. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter (@RCSierraDelta | @RedCrossNECal) or join the conversation on Facebook’s Sierra-Delta Chapter Page or Northeastern California Page.

 

Red Cross opens evacuation center for families affected by the Trail Fire

Placer County, Calif., June 28, 2016 —The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center for residents affected by the ongoing Trail Fire affecting two counties. The evacuation center is located at Foresthill High School located at 23319 Foresthill Road, Foresthill, CA 95631.

If evacuation orders remain in place overnight, the Red Cross is prepared to transition to a full shelter operation. Additionally, an Animal Shelter has been set up at the Gold Country Fairgrounds and is ready to receive animals.

“Right now our volunteers are making sure that these families have an immediate, safe place to go,” said Tami Martin, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. “Our disaster teams are ready to provide lodging, hot meals, water, hygiene items, health services, and comfort for anyone impacted by this growing fire.”

The Red Cross urges everyone to follow evacuation orders from local law enforcement and have an emergency kit ready go for any disaster including wildfires.

We are responding and working together with local emergency services in both counties to offer the best assistance as possible to those who have been asked to evacuate.

Visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire to learn more.

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.

The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

For more information, please visit redcross.org/GoldCountry or cruzrojaamericana.org. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter (@RCSierraDelta | @RedCrossNECal) or join the conversation on Facebook’s Sierra-Delta Chapter Page or Northeastern California Page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Country Region

1565 Exposition Boulevard

Sacramento, CA 95815

www.redcross.org/goldcountry

 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Lilly Wyatt

Phone: 916-993-7084

Cell: 916-208-4058

Lilly.Wyatt@redcross.org

 

 

Red Cross opens evacuation center for families affected by the Trail Fire in Placer County and parts of El Dorado County

Placer County, Calif., June 22, 2016 —The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center for residents affected by the ongoing Trail Fire affecting two counties. The evacuation center is located at Foresthill High School located at 23319 Foresthill Road, Foresthill, CA 95631.
If evacuation orders remain in place overnight, the Red Cross is prepared to transition to a full shelter operation.

 

“Right now our volunteers are making sure that these families have an immediate, safe place to go,” said Tami Martin, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. “Our disaster teams are ready to provide lodging, hot meals, water, hygiene items, health services, and comfort for anyone impacted by this growing fire.”

 

The Red Cross urges everyone to follow evacuation orders from local law enforcement and have an emergency kit ready go for any disaster including wildfires.

 

We are responding and working together with local emergency services in both counties to offer the best assistance as possible to those who have been asked to evacuate.
Visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire to learn more.

 

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.

 

The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

 

For more information, please visit redcross.org/GoldCountry or cruzrojaamericana.org. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter (@RCSierraDelta | @RedCrossNECal) or join the conversation on Facebook’s Sierra-Delta Chapter Page or Northeastern California Page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Country Region

1565 Exposition Boulevard

Sacramento, CA 95815

www.redcross.org/goldcountry

 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Lilly Wyatt

Phone: 916-993-7084

Cell: 916-208-4058

Lilly.Wyatt@redcross.org

 

 

Red Cross opens evacuation center for families affected by the Trail Fire in Placer County and parts of El Dorado County

Placer County, Calif., June 22, 2016 —The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center for residents affected by the ongoing Trail Fire affecting two counties. The evacuation center is located at Foresthill High School located at 23319 Foresthill Road, Foresthill, CA 95631.
If evacuation orders remain in place overnight, the Red Cross is prepared to transition to a full shelter operation.

 

“Right now our volunteers are making sure that these families have an immediate, safe place to go,” said Tami Martin, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. “Our disaster teams are ready to provide lodging, hot meals, water, hygiene items, health services, and comfort for anyone impacted by this growing fire.”

 

The Red Cross urges everyone to follow evacuation orders from local law enforcement and have an emergency kit ready go for any disaster including wildfires.

 

We are responding and working together with local emergency services in both counties to offer the best assistance as possible to those who have been asked to evacuate.
Visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire to learn more.

 

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.

 

The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

 

For more information, please visit redcross.org/GoldCountry or cruzrojaamericana.org. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter (@RCSierraDelta | @RedCrossNECal) or join the conversation on Facebook’s Sierra-Delta Chapter Page or Northeastern California Page.