Red Cross Update - Current Conditions Fall & Hurricane Response 10/24/20

Kevin McCoy

Good morning fellow ARES members.

A few things on this Red Cross Update.  Cold Weather, Atlantic Disturbance 1, and Hurricane Delta/Laura Update.

#1) Cold weather:

We are moving into an area of change in our threat profile.  We have fire weather still, and we have emerging cold weather.  We are also into our mini tornado season #2 where we have to keep our eyes open because of the jet stream moving south.  But the main issue for us will be the onset of cold weather.  As hard as it is to believe after the long hot summer, cold weather is ON THE WAY. Space heater will come out and fires will start.  While space heaters start about a ¼ of fires, those fires carry a higher percentage of fatalities.  Somewhere between 75 – 80 percent of fire deaths can be traced back to space heater started fires.

Along with the time change we will remind folks to check their smoke alarms.  I urge you to do so as well.  Check you furnace during the day.  A reminder that new building materials reduce your time to evacuate down to just 2 minutes.  So get out of burning home quickly.

Look for cold weather to start in the pan handle and spread to the rest of Texas by early next week:

ARES Update Cold

#2) Atlantic Disturbance #1

We are watching Atlantic Disturbance 1, could be in the gulf of Mexico early next week.  There is no consensus in the models right now, and the National Hurricane Center does not have a track.  So we can wait for more accurate information, but we are preparing now.

      Disturbance 1

#3) Hurricane Delta / Hurricane Laura

There was a great comment on my last post, and it reminds me to point out that we do not do this alone.  FEMA has been awesome, TDEM has been great, the state of Louisiana has been great, there are many businesses and charitable organizations that have chipped in.  We owe a special thanks to government at all levels who have enabled us to use hotels for shelters, so that we can reduce the spread of COVID. 

I would observe that we do not have as much company as we are used to.  A lot of volunteer organizations are suffering because they cannot get volunteers to deploy in the current environment.  Many of them do not have the funds and procedures to operate in a COVID safe way.  For example, some of the smaller charitable organizations do not have the logistics in place to get PPE where it needs to be.  One of the heroes in all of this has been the Food Banks.  Already stretched because of COVID-19, they have risen to the challenge in almost every community I have had a chance to visit.  The volunteer issue is the added expense to house and keep safe volunteers.  It is also a natural reticence of volunteers to deploy in a stress area and with the added danger of exposure.  Just a fact in trying to operate in a pandemic.

That said, let me give you an update from a Red Cross perspective.

We are still supporting more than 4,400 evacuees in safe lodging from Hurricane Delta & Laura.

Just to give you insight into the magnitude of the HUR Laura/Delta Response so far:
🍱 1.9M meals & snacks
🏥 759k overnight stays
🧳282k Relief items (Clean Up Kits etc.)
️53,400 Care contacts (Health, Mental Health, Spiritual Care, replacement meds, glasses, assistive equipment…)
️ 3,500 trained #RedCross disaster workers
💲 Financial Assistance 8,570 households

 Newton - Jasper
        Relief Supplies

Relief supplies destined for East Texas - Newton / Jasper area.

Best Kevin @KF5FUZ ARES / Red Cross


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