The global Red Cross Red Crescent network’s 2018 World Disasters Report: Leaving No One Behind spotlights the global challenges involved in delivering aid to the most vulnerable people—along with solutions to help humanitarian actors better reach communities around the world.
Imagine if your town had suffered catastrophic damage in a storm but emergency responders and aid workers couldn’t get there to help because your community wasn’t on any maps.
While this may seen strange to Westerners, it’s a real problem in other parts of the world.
To help get relief into people’s hands, the American Red Cross and partner organizations have joined with the Missing Maps project. Using OpenStreetMap, volunteers have put millions of people from high-risk countries on the map since 2014.
This makes a lifesaving difference for disaster workers combating deadly health crises like the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. And when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake ravaged parts of Nepal in 2015, volunteers worldwide sprang into action to map affected communities and roads to support relief efforts on the ground.
But much work still lies ahead to put more families in the world’s most vulnerable communities on the map—before disaster strikes.
On Thursday, November 1, Red Cross volunteers from the Gold Country Region will join with our partners at Intel in Folsom for a a Mapathon session. Our volunteers will be among about 50 people working together on the day’s mapping challenges.
You can help too! All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Volunteer at home, attend a mapathon or host one with family and friends.
- Visit Missing Maps » to learn how to get started or to find a mapathon event.
- Contact your local Red Cross chapter » for opportunities in your community.
If you are intersted in volunteering with the American Red Cross or to make a donation, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
By Stacey Shell
Derek was sitting on the back of his truck on the main street in Marianna, Florida earlier this week. He and his mother, Charlotte, are from Pensacola and were affected by Hurricane Ivan several years ago. They were caught unprepared.
Derek vowed then that he would never again be caught unprepared and would be ready to help if a hurricane ever came to Florida again. He has a soft spot in his heart for animals and knew that was an area of need that he could help with.
Derek and Charlotte collected more than 250 pounds of fruit and pet food from his car club, church and community members. For the past two weeks they have driven down to Tallahassee to give it away to anyone in need.
The mother and son have been driving around the back roads of affected areas where there is still no water, no power and, in some cases, clearing of the roads has not begun.
They came upon one house that had been evacuated but still on the property were foru dogs and five puppies that were left behind. Derek dropped three bags of dog food to which all of the dogs came running because they were starving.
Once I heard this story I could not leave without making sure the dogs were rescued. We drove to the local animal control office where I met a gentleman named Ken. He was not an animal control worker, but happened to work next door.
None of the animal control people were there. I told him the story and asked him if he had any suggestions on how I can get someone out to the house to save the dogs. He got on the phone and called Karen who was a friend of his. I gave her the information and she promised that she would get someone out there.
As we were driving away, Ken drove up in his car getting our attention to let us know that the house was in a different county. I asked him if he had any contacts in that county so I could get help. He and Karen told me they would coordinate with the other county’s animal control department and they promised that the dogs would be taken care of.
Because of this mother and son team from Pensacola who were down here just to help, this Red Cross volunteer who believes no animal should be left behind, two local individuals willing to help, and the coordination of two county animal control groups, these dogs will not be forgotten and the puppies will have a chance to live a full life.
If you would like to contribute to the American Red Cross Hurricane Michael disaster response, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Stacey Shell is a Gold Country Region volunteer. She is on her first-ever deployment to to assist those affected by Hurricane Michael.
Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 4 at 2 a.m. Turn those clocks back and remember it’s the perfect time to test every smoke alarm in your home.
Smoke alarms should be present on every floor of your home, in every bedroom, and in every hallway.
And remember, fire prevention should also include an escape plan. Find time with your family to review how you would escape your home safely in the event of a fire.
Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives, that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.
A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Red Cross volunteers, along with fire departments and other partners canvass at-risk neighborhoods, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms, and providing fire prevention and safety education. In just three years, we’ve accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 1 million smoke alarms and prepared more than 1 million people against home fires through our home visits.
Thank you to Asheet Sharma of Chico Foods for the company’s generous donation to the American Red Cross’ California Wildfire Relief fund.
The funds were recently donated at Jack in the Box restaurants in Redding.
This is not the first time Chico Foods has stepped up to support us. Thank you!