On the heels of a large apartment fire in the small town of Hitterdal, Minnesota, volunteers with the American Red Cross responded to assist 22 displaced individuals with lodging, clothing, and food, along with organizing a Multi-Agency Resource Center to continue the recovery process.
But the Red Cross mission is not just about response and recovery. It also includes working to prevent those types of events from occurring again. Volunteers spent a Saturday afternoon canvassing homes in the community to hand out home fire preparedness information and check for working smoke alarms. Volunteers canvassed 73% of the homes in Hitterdal.
For a small town of 203 people, an apartment fire can affect a large percentage of the population.
“It was a really significant event for this community,” said lead volunteer, Nancy Young. “We want to make sure everyone feels prepared and supported for something like this.”
This is the fourth ‘Home Fire Preparedness Campaign’ the Red Cross has done in the Dakotas Region this fall. The goal is to reduce the number of home fire deaths in the United States by 25%.
“We received so much positive feedback from people in Hitterdal,” said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Kira Nauman.