Workforce Deployed to Provide Services if Needed
Preparations have been made, and Red Cross workers continue to work on their readiness for the 2016 Republican National Convention, July 18-22 in Cleveland. The Red Cross is among several organizations with plans to provide residents and visitors a safe and enjoyable experience.
The Red Cross responds to almost 66,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family, to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands, to earthquakes that impact millions. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet.
During the Republican National Convention, most hotels in Northeast Ohio are booked solid. The Red Cross is prepared to respond to any potential need to shelter and feed any residents or visitors who may be displaced, and has recruited additional volunteers from Northeast Ohio and surrounding regions to help fulfill its mission.
June 28, 2016. West Virginia. Floods. Photos by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross
June 26, 2016. Charleston, West Virginia. Floods. Mother Tianna Butler and her daughter Skyler. Randall and his wife Tianna Butler recently moved into an upstairs apartment with their two-year-old daughter named Skyler. Tianna is 8 months pregnant. “Last Thursday the rains started. It came up really fast. When we saw the hillside crumble from the water we called 911, who told us it was safer to stay in the top part of the house rather than risk moving outdoors with all the flooding going on”, says Randall. “I was getting contractions from all the stress,” says Tianna. She and Skyler were rescued on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. and brought to the Red Cross shelter at Capital High School in Charleston. Randall joined them later. “We really appreciate what the Red Cross has done,” says Randall. “I never had any encounter with the Red Cross nor do I know anyone who has dealt with them, but everything they did has been top-notch; they are really professional.” But the Butlers remain concerned about the future. The money that they put into moving and fixing up their new apartment is now gone with the floodwaters. Having so recently moved, they hadn’t yet purchased any home insurance. “I hope we get some assistance or we will be on the sidewalk somewhere,” says Randall. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross
June 29, 2016. Charleston, West Virginia. Red Cross employee Mary Williams with one-year-old Sarah Shafer who, along with his mother and grandparents, is a flood victim from Clendenin, West Virginia. She and her family are staying at Capital High School gymnasium in Charleston, which has been turned into a Red Cross shelter. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross
Preparations have been made to open up to three shelters within a short time frame, in the event that a large number of Northeast Ohio residents or visitors to the area are displaced due to fires or other disasters. Opening and staffing three shelters could require more than 70 trained shelter volunteers around the clock. About 100 volunteers are ready to respond should the need arise.
The Red Cross is also prepared, along with our community partners, to provide water, snacks, and comfort in areas where those humanitarian needs may be needed.
June 30, 2016. Birch River, West Virginia. American Red Cross worker Bernard Stuart holds a bag of snacks and water for a resident in Birch River, West Virginia. The emergency response vehicle traveled through neighborhoods, delivering nearly 150 hot meals to the community. Photo by Marko Kokic for the American Red Cross
June 29, 2016. Clay, West Virginia. Red Cross volunteer Marie Loyons serves food to Loretta King and her eight-year-old daughter Byany King with Red Cross employee Mary Williams in the background. The Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle is at Clay High School at a community relief distribution point to assist flood victims from Clay, West Virginia. The vehicle contains 300 hot meals of chicken dumplings and mixed vegetables, along with pudding or a cookie for desert. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross
June 30, 2016. Birch River, West Virginia. Red Cross workers, Bernard Stuart and Kevin Beale, hand hot meals out to Cassandra Martin and Felicity Jarvis in Birch River, West Virginia. Photo by Marko Kokic for the American Red Cross
The need for Red Cross volunteers in Northeast Ohio will continue following the Republican National Convention. If you are interested in supporting our readiness to assist people in need, click here to create a Red Cross volunteer profile and begin the application process.