All Hands on Deck: Disaster Action Teamwork in Roseville


datYou probably know that during severe weather of the kind we saw recently throughout the Gold Country Region, shelter teams spring into action at a moment’s notice. What you may not know is that Disaster Action Teams (DAT) are also busy at these times, responding to calls from local emergency services to assist residents whose homes have been damaged. Placer DAT volunteer Heath Wakelee provided this account of his DAT team, hard at work providing care for Roseville residents affected by the relentless rain a couple of weeks ago:

In Roseville five DAT members responded to a four unit apartment building after the roof of their building partially blew off. Two of the upstairs units had been red tagged because of asbestos in the ceiling tiles and the other two units had water running down the walls and into electrical outlets. None of the four families had renters insurance. Blankets and funds to assist with lodging, food and clothing were greatly appreciated by all four units. Thank you Teresa Cameron, Bob Johnson, Beryl Mayne and Eleanore Kresge for answering the call to assist. Bob Johnson even went back the next day to make contact with the last of the four units.

Then there was the 42 year old woman who had been homeless for over a year but four months ago she finally found a room in a basement to rent. You guessed it. At 3 am she wakes up to over a foot of water in her room. We were able to give her a little financial help while her long term needs far exceed our DAT capabilities. Beryl Mayne once again assisted on this call and her previous training and experience was very much utilized and appreciated. The special skills that we all bring to our volunteer “work” come into play time and time again. We are a very strong team because of our diversity and unselfish willingness to help anyone in need.

The Red Cross provides the training you need to become a Disaster Action Team member. As you can see, you will learn from the best! Visit and click on “Volunteer With Us” to get started.

Kayla Jones Rolls up Her Sleeves to Keep Modesto ERV on the Road


By Denise Nordell, Volunteer

Modesto office coordinator Kayla Jones was raised to be thrifty and resourceful, and to fix it yourself whenever possible. So, when vandals recently broke into one of the ERVs (Emergency Response Vehicle) in the Red Cross parking lot, Kayla rolled up her sleeves and got to work.

The would-be thieves had broken one of the ERV’s wing windows. After searching for the replacement parts online and at the local pick-n-pull, Kayla contacted an auto repair shop and asked for the name of their parts dealer. After some more “smiling and dialing” she was able to order the part and received it the next day.

As Kayla, a Modesto native who has been with the Red Cross since March 2016  says, “I care immensely about saving the Red Cross money by avoiding large repair bills that are unplanned.” So instead of transporting the ERV to the shop for repair, “I just went on Youtube and went through the steps of replacing the window.” It took about an hour from start to finish, but everything went smoothly, the window was fixed, and Kayla had the satisfaction of a job well done.

Kayla comes from two generations of successful construction workers and company owners, so she was taught to never throw anything out if you think you can fix it. “And definitely, never waste of penny – if you can help it!” she says with feeling.

Unfortunately, not a week later, another break-in occurred on the same window. But as Kayla knows, practice makes perfect. “I went through the same steps, but this time it only took my about 30 minutes!”

In appreciation for Kayla’s efforts, the Modesto volunteer staff presented her with her own Red Cross tool kit so she’ll be ready for the next fix-it challenge that comes her way.