When you hear the words, “Red Cross”, your first thoughts may be: natural disasters, blood drives or perhaps a literal red cross! To be fair, it is understandable why these would be the first things to pop into your mind as the Red Cross is exceptional at responding to and aiding natural disaster victims, organizing blood drives and being there for our community as a whole. But what is not widely known, however, is that the Red Cross cares even more deeply about our community than we originally believed and as such, respond to a wide range of incidents – not just natural disasters! Whodathunkit?
After receiving a dispatch call to Carmichael, CA, William Brittain, the Team Lead of a Disaster Action Team, immediately called the Battalion Chief in that area and was briefed on the call. The Battalion Chief indicated his concern over the lack of heat in the client’s residence and William, after learning this call was now 7 days old, told the chief there might not be much that the team could provide this person. Yet he did tell the Battalion Chief that he would be more than happy to meet and speak with the client in person to see if there was anything else the team could assist her with.
Upon arrival at the client’s residence, the Team quickly learned from the client that her gas service had been restored and she now had heat. She resides on the same property as the residence that had burned on the night of a fire. Fortunately, her residence was spared from the fire and there was neither smoke nor water damage within her home. However on the night of the fire, her utilities had been turned off.
Although the client’s gas had been restored by the time the Team had met with her, her electricity had not. In the meantime, her community had provided her with battery powered electric lighting, her son had provided her with a barbecue and she was keeping her food cold in a cooler with ice. The client had shelter, heat, food: the means to cook it and keep it fresh, water and clothing. Thankfully all of her emergency needs were met.
The Team then spoke with her landlord who was on scene and he told them that his tenant would be able to continue to live in her residence and that electrical service should be back on soon. Before leaving, the Team gave the client a street sheet and a 211 card and both the client and landlord thanked them profusely for coming out. William Brittain, Team Lead, then followed up with the Battalion Chief, informing him that the client had heat – and the Chief, in turn, expressed gratitude that the Team had gone to visit with the resident.
This is only one of the many different incidents the Red Cross responds to. And the Red Cross is ready and available if you need them. They are here for our community. They are a part of our community. =)