On Saturday, June 15, the American Red Cross will be holding a disaster drill to test the organization’s responsiveness in the event of a natural disaster in the Rochester area. Dozens of area volunteers will be on hand to respond to the hypothetical hurricane scenario, which will focus on providing accurate disaster assessment and appropriate relief response to impacted neighborhoods.
“While we don’t anticipate having hurricanes impact the Greater Rochester area, recent events like Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee have demonstrated that the unexpected can happen,” said Timothy Pitoniak, Emergency Services Director for the American Red Cross. “The Red Cross has a responsibility to adjust to changing weather patterns and be prepared in advance for the worst possible scenario.”
The worst possible scenario can be difficult to define.
“We could be dealing with damage from high winds, flooding, power outages, or any combination of those,” said Sarah Perkins, who operates as the NYS Volunteer Lead for disaster assessment and is in charge of Saturday’s drill. “By periodically drilling for these events, our volunteer teams are prepared ahead of the storm and are well-equipped to deal with any situation.”
The drill runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and is primarily staffed by volunteers. The disaster operations center will be set up at the Greater Rochester Red Cross at 50 Prince Street; media are invited to attend between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
To coordinate an appearance, please contact Jay Bonafede at 716-435-7468.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/rochester or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.