Three Months Later: Red Cross Recovery Efforts Ongoing in Nepal

RC in Nepal

 

Three months have passed since the devastating earthquake rocked Nepal and its aftershocks shook surrounding locations. The Red Cross is still there providing relief and helping to rebuild.

On April 25, 2015 Nepal was severely impacted by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which took the lives of many and left others homeless and in a state of helplessness.

ifrc-nepal-earthquake-infographic
Click the Infographic to enlarge

5.6 million people were affected, and of that number 17,932 people were injured and 8,856 people were killed. On top of the loss of lives 543,034 houses were destroyed.

To date nearly 8,000 Red Cross volunteers and staff have been deployed, and more than $13.6 million have been spent or committed to emergency relief and shelter and cash distribution.

With generous support and donations we have provided health services including medical care, first aid and psychosocial support; we’ve distributed more than 2.8 million liters of safe water, and more than 7,000 relief kits and hygiene kits have been distributed to Nepal survivors.

 This natural disaster was one of the largest to strike Nepal since 1934, and we will continue to do all that we can to assist with the restoration and rebuild of Nepal. Our primary areas of focus are food, water, shelter, health care and cash grants.

We are confident that we can extend our hand to aid in relief efforts.

Read some of the stories of the people impacted by this disaster: http://rdcrss.org/1E3Hjiy

 

In the Eyes of a DAT Volunteer

Photo Credit: Heath Wakelee
Photo Credit: Heath Wakelee

Just when you though that Placer County would NEVER get another DAT call it happened early this morning.

At 1:30 a.m. the phone rang. It was our Disaster Program Manager (DPM) Tami Martin. Poor telephone connection but we finally communicated. I had been deep in sleep so it took me awhile to get dressed – out the door at 1:45 headed for the back hills of Auburn. Tami invited some others to respond and Arry Murphy said yes! OK – we were a team. I was pleased that Arry said yes. She had only limited experience with 901s, even less with CAS2.0 or DCSOps. But, when given a task, she plows ahead and asks good questions. Dependable, reliable, accurate, smiles, laughs, doesn’t take herself too seriously, all great attributes.

At 2:30 a.m. I finally arrived at a very busy scene. Probably 8 fire trucks all with flashing lights were easy to see once I got close to the address. I found the incident Commander and he pointed out one of the occupants (the wife). As is typical the front yard was strewn with household items that the firemen had been able to salvage.

The fire started in the garage of the one story ranch style home then quickly spread to the attic and across the whole home. After the fire reached the other end of the home, where the bedrooms were located, the home had filled with smoke and the smoke alarm finally went off. It certainly saved this family of three plus their four animals (1 dog, 3 cats). By the time the fire department reached this remote home, it was fully engulfed.

Arry and I learned that the family would stay with friends and that they had structural insurance so we provided them with food and clothing allowances plus comfort kits. The 7-year-old daughter was well behaved, but it looked like she would sleep for a week once she finally got into a bed.

We left at 4:00 a.m. with CAC card authorized and the clients very appreciative of our support. My take home… the mother’s smile. Genuine, sincere, caring, grateful. It was a good night.

I fell asleep at 5:30 a.m. after driving home, eating a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and finishing the paperwork.

For other DAT volunteers, if you have not done so already, ask about how to put your availability into DCSOps. If your not in DCSOps we don’t know about your availability. Need help, just ask. PLACER DAT ROCKS!!!

Best Regards, Heath Wakelee American Red Cross Volunteer Placer DAT Team Captain

A Light in the Red Cross Family that will not be Forgotten

Red Cross volunteers are unlike any other. Not only do they help individuals and families when any disaster big or small affects their communities, they also go above and beyond to help in every area of our operations. What makes our volunteers unique is the bond they form amongst other Red Cross volunteers – they become an instant family.

Today, it’s a somber day for our family of volunteers in Modesto and the entire Gold Country region as we said our final good bye’s and recollected the impact one of our own made in our communities.

Our passionately devoted volunteer Debbie Brasher passed away at home peacefully in her sleep. During her celebration of life, it was clear that she touched hundreds of people’s lives. A church full of family and friends recalled her eagerness to serve, passion for volunteering at various organizations and her desire to keep smiling and make other people grin.

Debbie volunteered for the Red Cross in our Modesto office for more than five years. Since her first time she stepped inside the office, she began training, being proactive in projects, taking a leadership role and making things happen.

“Debbie was a hard worker and a treasured volunteer,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager for the Gold Country Region. “She never said no. She would take the time to do whatever assignment accurately with a smile on her face and a great attitude.”

Mrs. Brasher was involved in Red Cross event coordination for both public events as well as events organized by the chapters. She helped with documenting future shelter locations and was part of a Disaster Action Team. Debbie was deployed to Washington to assist providing food and water to clients affected by the fires a couple of years ago.

Debbie, a long-time Hughson resident began volunteering for our organization after a long career in the California court system first in Alameda County and then in Stanislaus County where she held the positions of Assistant Administrator and most recently, IT Director. She was especially honored of her volunteer work with the American Red Cross and missionary service work in India and Mississippi.

“Debbie was always compassionate towards other volunteers, everything she said was always positive,” recalls Liza Cruz, a Red Cross employee. “She is surely going to be missed.”

Valued Volunteers Help Us Fulfill Our Lifesaving Mission – Join The Team!

Red Cross volunteer Andy Grossman talks with Weed resident Karly Gregory at the site where her home once stood.
Red Cross volunteer Andy Grossman talks with Weed resident Karly Gregory at the site where her home once stood.

When people see the Red Cross responding to emergencies, they often want to help but don’t know how. We want to help you get involved now, before a major disaster strikes.

Our volunteers respond to a local emergency every 11 hours. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of the response when disaster strikes. We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations that provide services to disaster victims.

Most of you have probably noticed reports of several fires in our region. With our record drought conditions, it will not be surprising to have many more, and the danger of a big fire is greater than ever.

The Red Cross has had a presence in the Gold Country region for over 100 years with a modest number of dedicated individuals. Now only a very small number of volunteers remain to provide initial help to folks who have lost their homes, who need a place to stay, food, and maybe critical prescription medications. These same volunteers are regularly the ones to start the process of setting up evacuation centers and shelters for large disasters.

If our local volunteers are not available because of vacations or illness, volunteers from Yuba City or Sacramento will respond, but driving time will insure it won’t be as prompt. Consider your family standing beside the ashes of what used to be your house without money, credit cards, car keys, phone and phone numbers, only the clothing on their backs – would waiting an extra hour or two for help make a difference?

Volunteer Carrie Reilly delivers water and supplies to residents impacted by 2014's Boles Fire in Weed, CA.
Volunteer Carrie Reilly delivers water and supplies to residents impacted by 2014’s Boles Fire in Weed, CA.

You can make a difference by volunteering with the American Red Cross. We’ll find the position that appeals to you and allows you to use your skills and talents. Requirements are few: 18 or over, retired or with a flexible work/school schedule. We do require a background check of all our volunteers, We do this to ensure both our volunteers and clients have a positive interaction with the Red Cross .

We have several areas where you can get involved, from communications/public affairs to disaster response and recovery, fundraising, preparing the community for a disaster and general administrative support. For more information or to sign up visit: www.redcross.org/GoldCountry.

Sign up for the Team Red Cross App, which allows you to sign up to help, get an overview of basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in your community.

Video: No Veteran Dies Alone

At the Red Cross, we understand how one dedicated person – despite the odds or circumstances – can have a profound effect on a community or an individual. For Chicago Red Cross Volunteer Laura Landoe, the difference she makes is quiet and intimate.

Landoe is one of a handful of volunteers who work with the No Veteran Dies Alone program at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center at Great Lake Naval Station in North Chicago, Illinois. The No Veteran Dies Alone is a palliative care program designed to provide the best quality of life for patients who no longer respond to medical treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the country.

Landoe’s role is to provide companionship and assistance, giving constant bedside comfort and most importantly, ensuring that no veteran faces death alone. There are times she holds a veteran’s hand, talks with them, reads to them and sometimes, sings hymns to them.

This Memorial Day as we fire-up the grill, head for the swimming pool, gather with family, and celebrate the start of summer, let us stop and remember the real reason for this holiday. It’s an opportunity to honor the men and women who have given their lives in service of their country while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces – and people like Landoe who serves our country in her own special way.

For more information about Services to the Armed Forces at the American Red Cross Gold Country Region, click here.

Happy Memorial Day!