Friday, November 30, 2012

Red Cross Responds to Everyday Disasters while Sandy Relief Continues

By Julie Krizen

Although the American Red Cross is in the midst of its Superstorm Sandy response, the largest U.S. disaster response in five years, “routine” disasters continue to occur within the Greater New York Red Cross region.

“While phones are still ringing for Hurricane Sandy, we’re also handling our usual seven to eight disasters a day across New York City, Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley, Westchester County and Greenwich, Conn,” said Takia Chandler, Greater New York Red Cross emergency communications dispatcher. “We’re multi-tasking. Our emergency communications center runs 365 days, 24 hours a day. As dispatchers we take the information and send out a response unit.”

Red Cross volunteer Jerry Rothstein is one of those responders always ready to answer the call for help, providing assistance for house and apartment fires, building collapses and more.

“Some apartment fires involve large numbers of families,” said Rothstein, “and generally speaking, people have no idea what services the Red Cross provides.”

Rothstein said that when families learn that the Red Cross will give them temporary housing and emergency funds for lost food and clothing, they’re usually surprised and happy.

“Most are just delighted that someone has come out to help them.”

Since Sandy made landfall, the Greater New York Red Cross has assisted more than 500 households affected by everyday disasters like home fires, providing hope, comfort, and support to those affected. Volunteers and donations make this possible. To get help or to help, call 1-877-REDCROSS or go to www.nyredcross.org.

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