In March 2022, a 100-unit apartment complex, home to elderly, disabled, and low-income families was impacted by a fire, displacing 87 people. This was the largest disaster to face St. Lawrence County in recent history. Before the Red Cross even arrived on the scene, John B. Miller Jr. was pinned as the "go to" for all response operations by the St. Lawrence County Emergency Manager. In the first 24 hours, John coordinated the initial reception center for the displaced residents at a local school, found accessible transportation to the shelter site, coordinated for the buses to stop at Salvation Army to pick up clean clothes for displaced residents, identified food resources, and aided in identifying a long-term shelter for the impacted to recover and plan their next steps after the trauma they endured.
When news broke the following morning that the building had sustained significant damage and had been condemned, John got even busier. John stepped away from his otherwise full-time profession as a special education teacher and worked in the shelter for the next 14 days straight, working tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of those in his community. He supported the day-to-day needs of the residents in the shelter, connected them with resources to meet their medical needs, helped with transition planning, and took accountability for each resident. John also worked with St. Lawrence County Housing Authority to find alternate housing for every single person impacted and again coordinated free transportation for these individuals to their new homes.