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Logistics Team Prepares for Next Disaster

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Red Cross continues its commitment to developing new ways to be ready for and respond to disasters.

American Red Cross North Jersey Region Disaster Services is embarking on an updated logistics program designed to be compatible with a model created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for use by its government and non-government partners during medium to large-scale disasters. 

During times of disaster, the American Red Cross is there to help, providing shelter, food, water and supplies to people in affected communities. In the early stages of disaster response, volunteers are working in shelters, offering a safe haven for families with cots, blankets, meals, resources and emotional support. Volunteers are driving vehicles throughout affected neighborhoods, delivering meals, water and supplies to help people as they pick up the pieces and begin their recovery. 

Behind the scenes, there is a team of workers in warehouses and the Disaster Operations Center that is critical to any Red Cross response. These volunteers ensure that logistics – the managing, movement and distribution of resources - are in place at all times for effective disaster response and recovery. 

More than 40 North Jersey Region Disaster Service workers received federal logistics training provided by the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team on July 10 at the Red Cross Disaster Operations Center in Fairfield.  

Established in 2008, the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP), which funded the trainings in Fairfield, is a groundbreaking Department of Homeland Security initiative to encourage collaborative emergency planning in America’s largest regions. The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut-Pennsylvania (NY-NJ-CT-PA) Region includes four states, 30 counties, hundreds of cities, towns and villages, and spans three FEMA regions. With a population of 22 million people, this region is home to nearly 1 in every 14 Americans.

During the logistics training, Nancy Harris of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team presented strategies, components and tools that Red Cross workers can utilize to perform logistics-related tasks, including the intake and disbursement of resources at Receiving and Distribution Centers and the distribution of resources to community partners and the public. 

“We were fortunate to have Nancy Harris here to facilitate the training,” said Steven Sarinelli, regional disaster officer, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “As both a part of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team and a former Red Cross volunteer, Nancy’s expertise is a valuable resource for our logistics team.”

Through continuous training and the enhancement of programs and procedures, the Red Cross continues its commitment to developing new and innovative ways to be ready for and respond to the next disaster. 


VOLUNTEER.  Join our team! Become a Red Cross volunteer and receive the training necessary to be ready to respond.


Develop a Family Disaster Plan. Every household should have a family disaster plan in place. Household members may not be together when a disaster happens. The plan should include ways to contact one another and two predetermined places to meet – one near the home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire, and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent you from returning home. 

Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit. Whether you purchase a kit or build your own it’s important to have emergency supplies on hand in the event of an emergency. Supplies should be stored in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that can be stored at home or taken with you in case you need to evacuate. 

Download the Free Red Cross Mobile AppsThe Red Cross suite of free mobile apps put expert first aid and disaster preparedness information in the palm of your hand, including what to do before, during and after disasters. The apps are available for iPhone and Android devices. Spanish-language apps are also available. 

Sign up for a Red Cross First Aid, CPR/AED Course. Learn lifesaving skills by taking a Red Cross course. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, the CPR/AED course teaches how to properly administer CPR and utilize an automated external defibrillator (AED) to provide immediate care during a cardiac or breathing emergency until medical personnel arrive. Learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies including cuts; burns; head, neck and spinal injuries; and more during the First Aid course. Find a course near you

The Red Cross wants you to be prepared for potential disasters and other emergencies. These events can strike suddenly, anywhere and at any time. Taking steps now can help make a difference during a disaster or other emergency.