By Cass Bonfiglio
American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region Volunteer
Vermonters are still recovering from disastrous flooding that took place in early July, resulting in the loss of many homes and businesses, in addition to severe damage to area highways and infrastructure. Putting their lives back together will take time, but with the help of the American Red Cross, they receive a head-start through a dose of kindness, supplies, and support.
A look at Vermont by the numbers
- 907 overnight stays for more than 191 residents in four emergency shelters.
- 25,411 meals and snacks provided.
- 34,246 relief items, including comfort kits and other supplies provided to people in need.
- 2,720 total households served.
- 255 trained Red Cross disaster workers, including 37 health and mental health services volunteers.
A volunteer from right here in Nevada helped to deliver those supports; Barb Kramer is a 10-year Red Cross veteran and member of the Northern Nevada Chapter. She has served in various capacities over the years, but found her niche in 2017 as a volunteer with Logistics, specifically in transportation, during the Hurricane Irma response. She now serves as the Logistics Lead for the Utah and Nevada Region.
“Logistics. That’s where I wanted to be. They had their act together and were starting a new transportation program,” Barb explained. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing vehicles of all kinds that deliver supplies and services to people following a disaster. She also oversees arrangements of rental vehicles for Red Crossers arriving at area airports to assist in a disaster response. “On this DR, I was by myself for the first two days, getting things up and running, when everybody started coming in.”
Barb has deployed a number of times, but this was her first where she was deployed from the very beginning of the disaster response. She served from Killington Vermont, and was assisted by other Logistics/Transportation volunteers, all of whom came from outside of the New England and New York areas.
Barb returned to Reno toward the end of July, but she didn’t rest long. When the wildfire sparked in Hawaii, Barb jumped at the call the help once again. Barb deployed to Hawaii just two weeks after getting home from Vermont, again managing logistics to ensure that volunteers and supplies got to the people in Maui who need it most.
More volunteers needed
There is a place in the Red Cross for your skills, interests and experiences, and we are always in need of volunteers. If you’re interested, please reach out at redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.