Red Cross Volunteers Working Two Coasts

October 25, 2007

Click here for printable news release

 

Contact: Diane Hawkins
Cellular: 850.418.0543
hawkinsd@usa.redcross.org

 

Red Cross Volunteers Continue Relief Response on Two Coasts

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, October 24, 2007 – From the Gulf Coast to the West Coast, Red Cross volunteers continue to provide emergency assistance to victims of the Pensacola tornado and the California fires.

Red Cross volunteers in Northwest Florida have been supported by volunteers in surrounding cities and states to ensure that those families affected by the October 18th tornado, are getting the aid they need. The volunteers put their personal lives on hold for up to a three-week assignment. They usually work a twelve-hour day – often under hardship conditions.

A total of eighty-four Red Cross workers have provided 3,930 meals and snacks to disaster clients and disaster workers, distributed 246 clean-up and comfort kits and 103 blue tarps and other bulk items to tornado victims. Volunteer teams conducted damage assessment on 251 homes and assisted 119 families through Hotline calls and home visits.

Gathana Parmenas traveled to Pensacola from nearby Tallahassee to assist the local Red Cross chapter. “The Tallahassee chapter sent me here to help – neighbor to neighbor,” said Parmenas, Disaster Assessment Manager. Her teams traveled to the affected neighborhoods conducting damage assessment.

Three married couples worked together in Pensacola this past week.

Wayne and Judy Lintz live in Flint, Michigan and have a vacation home at Pensacola Beach. When they received Red Cross assistance after Hurricane Ivan, they decided to join the team of volunteers.

“Our own Red Cross experience with Ivan was so positive that we decided to volunteer,” said Wayne Lintz. The retired school teachers have deployed to Oklahoma and New Orleans, working in shelters and providing hot meals to neighborhoods affected by storms. They were at their Pensacola Beach home when they heard about the tornado touching down in Pensacola. “Volunteering is a nice way to do something for someone else while enjoying our golden years,”added Lintz.

Another couple, Cici and Don Ramsey traveled from Houston, Texas and work as a Response Technology Team (RTT). “The people of the Gulf Coast hold a special place in our hearts. We were here providing assistance during Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina,” said Don Ramsey. The RTT sets up and maintains the communication equipment for the volunteers assigned to the relief operation.

For the past three years, Roger and Wanda Reetz have been driving Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles to disasters around the country. Last week, the Mobile, Alabama couple delivered meals to the Pensacola neighborhoods that were in the path of the tornado. “Making a connection to those in need and helping just one person who needs your help, makes this job worth it,” said Wanda Reetz.

These volunteers supported the Northwest Florida chapter’s volunteers for the past week. Some of these volunteers are being deployed to California to assist with the Red Cross relief efforts there. The local chapter volunteers are continuing to work with those in our community that need Red Cross assistance.

Both the Pensacola tornado and the California fires remind all of us of the importance of preparing ourselves for the unexpected. The Red Cross asks everyone to be Red Cross Ready. 1. Get or re-supply your disaster preparedness kit, 2. make an information plan with your family and friends, and 3 stay informed by listening to local authorities and contacting your local Red Cross chapter during a disaster event.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Pensacola tornado, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting.redcross.org.


Fast Facts Update – 10/24

October 24, 2007

Fast Facts Header
(as of 10/23)

  • Opened 1 shelter in Pensacola and sheltered 15 tornado evacuees
  • Staffed Escambia County Emergency Operations Center around the clock with Red Cross workers
  • 84 Red Cross workers and volunteers have provided disaster services from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan
  • Served 3,930 meals and snacks to disaster clients and disaster workers
  • 119 families have been assisted through Hotline calls and home visits
  • Conducted damage assessment on 251 homes
  • 11 homes were destroyed, 35 had major damage, 100 had minor damage, and 105 were affected
  • 3 mobile feeding units delivered hot meals and water to neighborhoods
  • Distributed 246 Clean-Up Kits (mop, broom, etc.) and 103 blue tarps

Daycare and Church Damaged

October 23, 2007

Day care

This is the church next to it’s day care center (filled with children) that was in the tornado’s path.  The Northwest Florida Chapter Chair joined a caseworker on a tour of the neighborhood.  The Red Cross had two feeding trucks at the site with tarps, clean up kits, and snacks for the parishioners and volunteers repairing the church.


Red Cross Brings Aid

October 22, 2007

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PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, October 22, 2007 – As rain started to fall again yesterday in Pensacola, the Red Cross continues to provide emergency assistance to those affected by last Thursday’s storm. Pensacola release 10-21-07

The case worker teams have been out visiting with families, many that have called the Red Cross Hotline at 1-866-GET INFO. The Red Cross is assisting storm victims with temporary housing, clothing, food, clean up kits, blue tarps and crisis counseling.

The Red Cross is prepared to assist an increased number of storm victims based on today’s results of damage assessment. With Red Cross assessment nearly complete, the disaster assessment teams report ten structures destroyed, twenty-eight with major damage, one hundred and seven with minor damage and one hundred and six affected. These structures include homes, apartments, condos and mobile units in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

“Many people have contacted us and asked how they can help the Red Cross assist the storm victims,” said Dianne Connors, Chapter Chair for the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida. “The best way to help us deliver service to those in need is to make a financial contribution to the Disaster Relief Fund,” continued Connors.

For more information on Red Cross services for those who sustained damage in this storm, call 1-866-GET INFO.

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like this storm, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This fund enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation.


Local Assistance Takes Shape

October 19, 2007

News Release Header

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, October 19, 2007 – In response to yesterday’s tornado and storm system that swept through Pensacola, the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida has been providing assistance to the families and neighborhoods effected by this storm.

Thirty-five trained volunteers have responded and are providing direct emergency assistance in communities and neighborhoods impacted by yesterday’s weather system.

“Many of our volunteers didn’t wait to be called after the tornado touched down. They called us and said they were ready to work,” commented Dianne Connors, Chapter Chair for the local Red Cross chapter. “We also received Red Cross volunteers from other chapters in the Southeast including Alabama and Mississippi,” continued Connors.

In addition to opening a shelter at East Brent Baptist Church on Davis Highway, Red Cross mobile feeding units are distributing meals to the storm damaged neighborhoods. The mobile units are also distributing blue tarps and clean up kits.

Members of the NAACP are partnering with Red Cross family service counselors, visiting some families in these neighborhoods. Sanford Hayes, Pastor of New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Crestview, and Red Cross family service case worker Sonja Sanders visited homes surrounding the Greater Little Rock Baptist Church on A Street. The church was damaged in the path of the twister yesterday. The Red Cross is providing emergency assistance to families in this area that sustained damage.

With more than 50% of damage assessment completed by Red Cross teams in Pensacola, two houses were destroyed, twelve sustained major damage and twenty sustained minor damage.

“Our teams are continuing to visit neighborhoods throughout the day to assess damage and provide emergency assistance to any families that were impacted by this storm,” said Sam Morrissette, team leader for Red Cross Disaster Assessment.

As a result of this storm, the Red Cross also responded to three mobile home fires in Shalimar and Navarre. The three homes were destroyed and the Red Cross teams were on the scene providing immediate assistance. The families were provided with temporary housing, food and clothing.

Red Cross teams served 460 meals and 2,658 snacks to people effected by this storm system.

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like this storm, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This fund enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation.


Relief efforts continue in Pensacola

October 19, 2007

American Red Cross disaster relief workers continue to provide assistance to the residents of Pensacola, Fla., following the Thursday, Oct. 18 tornado.

Disaster assessment continues throughout the affected neighborhoods, and as of noon Friday, was approximately 50 percent complete. Outreach efforts continue with workers and Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV’s) from Pensacola, Mobile, Ala., and Hattiesburg, Miss., providing snacks and clean-up supplies.

The Northwest Florida Chapter is working with several partner agencies to provide relief services and counseling to affected residents.


Fast Facts Update

October 18, 2007

Fast Facts Header

As of 7:30 p.m. CDT, the updated statistics available for the Pensacola tornado relief operation from the American Red Cross

33 percent of damage assessment has been completed with the following numbers:

Escambia County

• Two homes destroyed

•  10 homes with major damage

•  19 homes with minor damage

In Santa Rosa County

•  Two homes destroyed

In Okaloosa County

•  One home destroyed

One shelter remains open for the operation, East Brent Baptist Church on the Davis Highway in Pensacola. Red Cross workers are staffing the shelter to meet the needs of shelter residents that may also come during the overnight period with rainfall continuing.

A total of three mobile homes have caught fire directly related to the tornado and Red Cross workers were providing assistance on-scene to affected families.

Red Cross mobile units were operational Thursday afternoon and evening providing meals, snacks, and clean-up kits to affected residents.

The volunteer force on the ground in the Northwest Florida-affected area has surpassed 30 individuals, with volunteers coming from Mobile, Ala., and other unaffected areas, also.