The American Red Cross in Arkansas has deployed Larry Martens, of Searcy County, to Oso, Washington to join Red Cross Disaster Workers providing emotional support for grieving residents and first responders, as work continues to rescue trapped residents in the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly mudslide.
“It’s rare that Red Cross responders in Arkansas deploy this far away from a disaster,” stated American Red Cross in Arkansas Communication Officer, Brigette Williams. “With the death toll from this tragic event already at twenty-four, and so many residents unaccounted for, it goes without saying the need for emotional support of the residents and first responder is enormous.”
Martens, a licensed professional counselor, volunteers his expertise through Red Cross to comfort disaster victims across Arkansas after residential fires, floods and tornadoes. He also brings an additional depth of understanding of care for disaster victims from his response to large scale disasters across the country. “Larry has helped ease the pain after loss of loved ones and a loss of ‘life before’ after Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac and the Joplin tornado; as well as last year’s flood in Scott County and the industrial explosion in West, Texas that killed fifteen residents and injured more than one hundred.”
Safety for rescue efforts in Washington remains high, as rains and flood warnings continue. Arkansas is no stranger to floods causing loss of life. “Last May’s flood in Scott County that killed five individuals, and the Camp Albert Pike Campground flood in 2010 both received Red Cross support. “Incidents like the Camp Albert flood, where more than 20 campers lost lives was one where providing emotional and health support for the families was top priority.”
As all Arkansas counties are vulnerable to flood, we ask Arkansans to download the just released Red Cross Flood app. Like the Red Cross Tornado app, an alarm will alert the user to flash flood warnings. The Red Cross has a shelter open near the town of Oso for residents and first responders, which can be located on the Red Cross flood app.
For more safety and disaster tips please visit redcross.org/arkansas; like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For persons trying to locate loved ones that may have been displaced by Washington flood, please visit redcross.org/Arkansas safeandwell.
About the American Red Cross in Arkansas:
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/arkansas, redcross.org or follow us on Twitter@ArkRedCross.