Update July 8, 2013
During the busy holiday weekend, the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania sent more workers to help with national responses in New York, Western Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Volunteer Sam Cameron from Montgomery County was deployed to New York to serve as a Manager for Disaster Mental Health and volunteer Christina Madeha from Philadelphia has also traveled to New York to assist with casework for residents displaced by flooding.
Volunteers Wendy Christie from Montgomery County and Larry Harrington from New Jersey traveled to Western PA to assist in the response to major flooding. Wendy will be doing client casework to help residents get the help they need to begin the recovery process while Larry assists in sheltering residents still displaced by flood waters.
The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania is also sending more help and leadership to Arizona in the wake of the wildfire and tragedy. Volunteer Marc Henley from Chester County will be supervising for Disaster Mental Health and volunteer Ben Gill from Montgomery County will be supervising Feeding.
Update July 1, 2013
The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania is sending local volunteers and one employee to assist with the wildfire tragedy in Arizona as well as the flooding in New York state.
Dave Schrader, Chief communications officer from Delaware County is leaving this afternoon to fly to Arizona where he will serve as a national spokesperson for the Red Cross response following the wildfire tragedy and for the ongoing wildfire response.
Four volunteers from our region will also travel to New York state to assist with flooding. Fred Vielhauer of Bucks County will be working to provide meals to displaced residents, Anthony Vandeven of Bucks County will be doing damage assessment, Carol Bliss of Philadelphia will provide disaster mental health services to folks devastated by the flooding and Charles McElroy of Bucks County will be doing client casework to help residents get the help they need to begin the recovery process.
Update, June 28, 2013
As the recovery efforts continue in Oklahoma following the devastating tornadoes there, relief efforts in Colorado are expanding. The Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) American Red Cross has now deployed one employee and two more volunteers to Colorado to join two who are already serving there.
Leo Pratte Director of Emergency Services at SEPA deployed as Operations Management. Leo will assist with managing the entire Red Cross response in Colorado. Ben Gill, a volunteer from Montgomery County deployed to assist with sheltering residents who have been displaced from their homes. Mindy Pinkus a volunteer from Bucks County is assisting with Damage Assessment. Mindy goes door to door assessing the level of damages to homes affected by the fires.
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Posted June 18, 2013
Once again, disaster season is here. In support of the national American Red Cross, the Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) region has already sent seven volunteers to assist in the response to devastating tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma and wild fires near Colorado Springs.
Our extraordinary mental health volunteer, Danelle Stoppel of Philadelphia, recently returned from what she described as “. . .a very difficult Disaster Response.” Danelle was in Oklahoma to provide comfort and care to clients staying at Red Cross shelters. While there, she experienced several days of severe weather and tornado warning sirens. On June 4th, she posted on Facebook, “Still Running with the Emergency Response Vehicles, in spite of rain, hail, wind and occasional tornado threats.” Danelle’s commitment to the work of the Red Cross was recently documented in this article in Women’s Day magazine.
Danelle was joined in Oklahoma by Joe Cirillo of Delaware County, who was deployed to help with Logistics. His task was to ensure the safety of staff and volunteers working on this response. Also deployed to Oklahoma were Kay Rossi and Fred Veilhauer of Bucks County. Kay was there to help with the enormous client casework load and Fred joined the legion of ERV drivers who help distribute meals and relief supplies to residents affected by the devastating storms.
In addition to supporting these national disaster relief efforts in the affected areas, SEPA sent Communications Manager Sara Smith to the American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, DC to help with Public Affairs work. While in DC, Sara assisted in assembling and managing the Public Affairs team working on the ground in Moore, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas.
SEPA was also proud to send volunteers to help with response to the serious wildfires again plaguing Colorado Springs. Cynthia Townsend of Philadelphia was deployed to assist with sheltering residents who have lost their homes to fire. Also, AmeriCorps member Emery Graham of Montgomery County is in Colorado as a public affairs volunteer to help capture and tell the story of the Red Cross response there.
While these deployments are critical to the work of the American Red Cross on a national level, SEPA continues to provide important services at home. In the past week, SEPA has responded to multiple local disasters and helped several families with emergency needs such as food, clothing, shelter and services. SEPA also provided essential support to first responders and bystanders following a serious building collapse in Center City Philadelphia, which received national attention.