Hyannis, Mass., January 19th, 2012 – The American Red Cross, Cape Cod and Islands Chapter announces that its volunteers have been extremely busy in the first two weeks in January. Local volunteers supported some six different disaster events (also called incidents) where several local individuals and families needed casework support as they were temporarily displaced after flooding or fire. Volunteers were there supporting the first responders at a gas mean leak hit a Yarmouth street. Volunteers provided warming areas and hot drinks and snacks to the search and rescue crews in the bitter cold after the small plane crash in Brewster. Volunteers responded to a house fire in Dartmouth and the Boat Yard in Falmouth. They were there after a boiler fire in Dennisport and burst water pipe on Nantucket. In two cases, volunteers were even preparing to operate a shelter but fortunately were able to support the affected individuals and families in other ways.
In addition, the volunteers were on hand to provide some 280 first responders at these events with food, water, drinks, and moral support.
Dave Pollock of Brewster, Senior Zone Leader and long time Red Cross volunteer says: "Some of this activity is probably linked to the return of cold weather, but the timing of some of it was pure chance. These figures show the need to have a large group of well trained, well equipped volunteers in every community in our region. Cold weather typically brings an increase in house fires, our most common disaster. If this trend continues, this will be one of the busiest winter seasons in recent memory. It's a challenge, because quite a few of our volunteers head south for the winter, and our staffing levels are at their annual low between New Year's and March. If you’re interested in volunteering, winter is also a great time to attend some of the classes the chapter organizes. Just check out redcross.org/ma/hyannis, click volunteer, for more information about volunteering".
The American Red Cross is the nation’s foremost emergency response organization, offering neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war and devastating natural disasters as well as local disasters such as fires, Hazardous Materials accidents and more, providing victims of these disasters with shelter, food and emotional support. The Red Cross is not a government agency and does not receive federal or state funding. It relies on donations of time, money, and blood from the American public to successfully do its work.
To find out more about volunteering for the Red Cross, for class schedules, for disaster preparedness information in English, Spanish or Portuguese, or to donate, please contact the American Red Cross, Cape Cod Islands Chapter, 286 South Street, Hyannis, MA 02601, call (508) 775-1540 ext. 21 or visit redcross.org/ma/hyannis.