Thursday, August 13, 2009

Help in a bucket

Even after the shelters closed, Red Cross volunteers kept busy visiting flood victims in the hardest hit areas of Kentuckiana. They made assessments and gave referrals to other agencies who could supply proper resources. The flooding affected many people, and some volunteers were suprised at the amount of stops they made while distributing clean-up kits and water. All together volunteers handed out 388 clean-up kits containing supplies like bleach, gloves, brooms and masks dontated by Meijer and Home Depot. Check out the video below to see a few of our volunteers in action.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Road to Recovery

The recovery process has begun and things are getting back to normal around here, well, as normal as you can get in disaster response. We closed our last shelter yesterday after ensuring everyone had a place to stay. But even with the shelters closed, our volunteers are still hard at work distributing clean-up kits and giving out referrals.

Friday I got a chance to tag along on one of our clean-up kit runs. While the size of the ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) and LERV (. . . Giant Water Truck) may have been intimidating, the Red Cross symbol on the side of each vehicle let people know help had arrived.
Some were already busy cleaning up after the storm; others got to work as soon as they had a broom and bucket in hand.

Everyone we delivered to was happy to see us, and at the risk of sounding cheesey, I must admit the thanks we received made the heat, humidity and zig-zag streets of Louisville much easier to deal with.

And now that we're on the road to recovery, I have only one personal request: No more rain!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Water! Water! Everywhere!

I’ve only been with the chapter for a month, and this week was my first experience with disaster response. Since noon on Tuesday, my days have been filled with constant news updates and ringing phones. Why since only noon you may ask. Well, my role in responding to the disaster was delayed by my own flooding issue.

Finally outside the protective bubble of my alma mater, I attempted to drive my Volkswagen Beetle through three to four feet of water. That was at 8:30 a.m., before everyone had realized just how serious and extensive the storm was.

As rain continued to batter Kentuckiana, I searched for a service center to repair my flooded engine and quickly became absorbed in my own problem. Little did I know, my co-workers at the American Red Cross were worrying about my whereabouts even as many of them were busy answering phones and hard at work setting up shelters.

When I walked into the office at 11 a.m., I found everyone relieved to see me. That’s when I realized that my new position not only made me part of an organization, but a family as well. The staff and volunteers at the Red Cross are a very diverse group of people with a common goal—helping others.

The flooding gave me my first real taste of what being a member of the Red Cross “team” is all about. And just in case I forgot to say it before, thanks to everyone in Disaster Services for your concern. :D You guys rock!

Monday, August 3, 2009

This is how I blog

Hello to all! My name is Anna Rosales, and I’m the brand new AmeriCorps Public Relations Coordinator for the chapter. Over the next year I’ll be giving you all an inside look at the Red Cross—from my point of view of course.

Being from Colorado, I’m used to dealing with thunderstorms, tornadoes and snow, but living in Southern Indiana for the past four years has exposed me to sides of Mother Nature I never thought I would see. . . at least not in the Midwest. I’ve been through ice storms, “in-land hurricanes” and even an earthquake.

Now that I’m working directly with disaster response and preparedness in Kentuckiana, I expect my days to stay quite busy . . . look out for my blogs as we move through the seasons! I’m sure they will be interesting.