This week, the American Red Cross is participating in several MARCs – an acronym that has become very familiar for those individuals and families impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. A MARC – or a Multi-Agency Resource Center – is a one-stop shop for those in need of services to help them begin recovery.
The Red Cross participated in MARCs in Montgomery County at the Intermediate Unit in Norristown and in Chester County at the United Sports Training Center in Downingtown on Sept. 8 and 9. The Red Cross will also participate in a MARC at the Gustine Recreation Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 10 and 11 (noon- 8 p.m.).
But what really happens at a MARC? For the Red Cross, MARCs allow disaster workers to meet face-to-face (with masks, of course) with impacted residents to 1) open casework for those who qualify; 2) connect with Red Cross disaster workers in the field to conduct damage assessment on properties not yet surveyed; and 3) provide relief items like clean-up kits, snacks, water and toys for children. Red Cross Disaster Health Services volunteers are also on hand to help residents replace medical items that may have been lost or damaged.
In addition to the Red Cross, participating agencies have included the Salvation Army, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, ACLAMO, Victim Services of Montgomery County, PennDOT, Your Way Home, Community Connections, Veteran’s Affairs, CareerLink, Pennsylvania Insurance Commission, SEPTA, National Flood Insurance Program and county and local emergency management agencies, among others.