In response to the devastating floods that occurred in Texas last month, the Red Cross answered by sending hundreds of volunteers to aid victims struggling to stay afloat; including Cascades Region volunteer Jerry Hall.
Jerry, a Klamath Falls resident, was in Texas for a total of 16 days performing disaster assessment on damages throughout the state. The Detailed Damage Assessment (DDA) works according to FEMA standards and was performed on single-family homes, mobile homes and apartments. Part of this work includes locating the name of the owner of the structure. This makes it easier to place disaster survivors into the system allowing organizations like the Red Cross and government agencies to aid to them quickly, helping them get back onto their feet.
With hundreds of homes without roofs or even walls, Jerry had a lot of work to do.
“It will be a long rebuilding process,” Jerry explained, “There’s a lot of damage and loss of life.”
Upon arriving in Texas, Jerry remembers everyone scrambling to get their lives back together.
“When disasters like this strike, everything gets thrown into shambles,” Jerry continued, “Food, water, shelter; all of the basic necessities are thrown out the window, and survival is of utmost importance. With disasters like these, it makes the work of the Red Cross that much more meaningful to me. We’re able to provide assistance, aid, comfort and hope to many people affected by these floods.”
Jerry is now back home in Oregon, although he would love to return and help. Jerry has been deployed by the Red Cross for six years, traveling across the country, volunteering in a total of eight disasters. He’s taken numerous disaster assessment courses and attributes his knowledge and success in the field to the Red Cross.
If others are interested in volunteering when disasters strike, Jerry suggests becoming a Red Cross volunteer.
“There is a great need and Red Cross offers a lot of courses. If something seems interesting, take it!”
For more information on Red Cross volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.redcross.org/or/portland/volunteer