Update 3: Imelda Red Cross Relief Efforts 09-30-2019
At last count we had 170 people still in 7 open shelters across the Texas Gulf Coast:
You can get the current status at:
Recovery / Client Service
While we still have sheltering in process, most of our efforts are now focused on Recovery and we are staffing 7 Recovery centers:
** P-RAC Parish Recovery Assistance Center... is basically a Multi-Agency Resource Center - a one stop shop for Client Assistance facilitating access to multiple sources of Charitable and Government aid.
We are seeing families that have been impacted by Imelda that
were recovered or in recovery from Hurricane Harvey. An example of
one of these resilient Texans is NASA Retiree Shirley Bryson - you
can read here story here:
Red Cross has delivered more than 36,500 Meals and snacks to Imelda impacted families and responders. This in cooperation with businesses, Texas Baptist Men, and South East Texas Food Bank.
Janet and Allan Sherman from Plainview, TX serving folks in Orange, TX.
Disaster Emergency Supplies
Red Cross has delivered more than 17,000 Disaster Emergency Supplies. Everything from comfort kits with hygiene items like toothbrushes and soap as well as clean-up kits for those cleaning their Imelda ravaged homes.
Disaster Emergency Supplies to affected communities
All client aid is indexed by damage. Many charitable agencies leverage Red Cross Damage Assessment information. So do governments who are working on disaster qualifications. Damage assessment is ongoing. Sometimes we discover homes that have not been assessed and do a "hot shot". Some areas are not accessible until water recedes, and Damage Assessment must wait until it is safe.
Health Services, Disaster Mental Health, and Spiritual Care
There have been 3,300 visits. All Health, Mental Health, and Spiritual Care volunteers are licensed professionals who donate their time to Red Cross.
There are currently roughly 450 Red Crossers on the job. I have rotated off for some family business. I often find in my fellow volunteers a story that triggered their commitment to help others. So it is with Rick Cowan and a flood in Liberty TX decades ago! That experience has put him on the front lines helping for more than 20 years. You can read more about him and his efforts on Imelda here:
Usual ARRL/ARES jobs with Red Cross
As you can see, or perhaps have experienced, disaster
response is a long and complicated job. Even when communications
are good, it is often chaotic and confusing. It is that much
harder when communications are out or overloaded as we had in
the California Wildfires and Hurricane Michael. While it may be
rare in any particular location, it is inevitable, and happens 6
to 8 times a year across this great nation that we serve. In my
experience the jobs most frequently done with ARRL and Red Cross
are: Connection to government (EOC to Red Cross connection);
Disaster Assessment communication; Shelter Communication;
Helping Hand Coordination; Disaster Action Team communication.
Reach out to your local Red Cross to drill these types of jobs.
A great example of ARRL support of Red Cross Shelter
Communications in the California Wildfires is on page 88 of the
October QST. While this example was using NBEMS, we have
standardized on Winlink and Winlink forms in TX response.