“It’s been nearly a year, but now things are tougher, we are struggling more,” explained LoAnna Langton, a mother of four. “The Red Cross really pulled through at a time we needed it most.”
Many months after landslide disaster recovery efforts began, LoAnna and her husband Kris discovered they needed assistance, as have a number of other disaster-impacted families. Why now, so long after the landslide struck? “This disaster completely altered the course of these families’ lives, and over time, their needs evolve and they still need support,” said Bob Dolhanyk, Red Cross long-term recovery manager.
The Langton family’s story of survival is compelling. LoAnna witnessed the terrifying disaster unfold, moving quickly to save her children, their playmates and a neighbor, along with her disabled Aunt. She made a call to her husband Kris, who was one of the first to arrive at the scene. Despite the tremendous scale of destruction, he immediately set out to help his wife, children and other survivors.
“Wherever you hear a voice crying for help, that’s where you’ll find me,” Kris told first responders as he set out to find his family. As he painstakingly made his way through thick mud and a field littered with deadly hazards, he heard the voice of a survivor crying for help. It was Tim Ward, trapped in the destroyed remains of his home. Kris took a detour that would save Tim’s life and helped several additional survivors escape the mud and debris.
Bob has worked closely with LoAnna and her husband Kris Langton to help them regain financial stability. They lost their home and most of their possessions in the landslide. Their new rental house lacks a functional heat system and the added costs of moving and replacing furnishings and essential tools has drained their funds. The Red Cross, working with our partners, is providing assistance for heat, funds for clothing, and replacing work tools and other items.
“I was comfortable working with Bob, he understood that recovery is a long process,” LoAnna said. “Our life was turned upside down. For so many people, that disaster is in the past. For us, it’s still part of our present.”
***Note: Kris Langton was honored as a Red Cross Real Hero in December 2014. Click Here to Watch the Video.