November 25, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
36°F

Local Red Cross measures its disaster readiness

“This is an exercise. I am calling to notify you that we have received a message that states: A flood has occurred in our chapter affecting approximately 50 dwellings. It appears that there is damage in Chippewa Lake Development among Rockwood, Shadywood and Lake. Imagine that today is Monday, June 11, 2007. If this were a real event that affected that number of dwellings, what would be your actual availability to respond day or night for today, tomorrow and the following day and night.”

This is the scenario that was presented to more than 80 Red Cross volunteers in preparation for a mock disaster exercise that occurred over three days last week. 

Last Tuesday, 16 representatives from the Medina County chapter sat down with two American National Red Cross facilitators to participate in a Chapter Disaster Readiness Exercise and Evaluation at the Red Cross board room. After the exercise, chapter leadership, including our board chair and service delivery chair, discussed the outcomes. 

The purpose of the CDREE is to provide a way for the chapter to assess our ability to respond to disasters in Medina County and to develop ways to improve our readiness. 

The CDREE was a three-part process which included a review and evaluation of our staffing, material and financial resources, a realistic and useful tabletop exercise and evaluation of the outcomes. 

What is chapter disaster readiness? It means the chapter has the right resources in the right place at the right time to respond to any disaster event which may impact its jurisdiction. Besides human resources (both employees and volunteers) and material resources (like cots and blankets), community relationships are essential to the chapter’s well-being and provide important links to help clients. 

What did we find? The chapter is capable of responding to the needs of a 50-family disaster, but the chapter could use more trained supervisory volunteers to lead in the areas of records and reports, logistics, shelter management, disaster health services, finance and mass care. We also determined we need greater access to dedicated phone lines and increased funding relationships with community business partners who might be able to provide generators or computers before a disaster even happens. 

If you are interested in helping your local chapter as a disaster volunteer or working with us to better prepare our community for potential emergencies, contact Ron Hager, director of programs and services, at 330-723-4565 or by e-mail at rwhager@medinaredcross.org. 

Some 83,000 Red Cross volunteers respond to more than 60,000 local and national disasters every year, including floods, tornadoes, fires and hazardous materials incidents. Red Cross disaster services are free. We primarily rely on voluntary gifts of time and money to provide disaster relief. 

Chapter holds annual meeting
More than 100 members of the American Red Cross of Medina County met May 10 at the Western Reserve Masonic Community, at its 90th annual meeting and volunteer recognition.

Sponsored by Partners in Plastics Inc., the evening’s highlights included the election of new board members and board officers and the recognition of volunteers for years of service and for exceptional service. 

New board members inducted were Dottie Nemec of Seville and Alan Hlad and Chip Moll of Medina. Board members who were elected to a second three-year term were Bob Drum of Brunswick, Kevin Dunn of Westfield Center, George Hudnutt of Avon Lake and Tom McConnell of Copley Township. 

Retiring board members and officers Jon Park of Westfield Center, Kitty Dilley of Sharon Township and Vicki Karabinus and Gail Carmon of Medina were also recognized for their six years of service to the chapter. Karabinus also received an Exceptional Volunteer award. 

New board officers elected were: Mark Dorman of Medina, chairman; Nemec, vice president of financial development; Dunn, vice president of service delivery; McConnell, treasurer and Kate Reusch, secretary. 

The chapter presented Friends of the Red Cross awards to Pat Catan’s Craft Centers, Discount Drug Mart and 620 Corp. for their financial and material support throughout the years and honored the following members of the Clara Barton Society for their financial support: Kitty and Bill Dilley, Vicki and George Karabinus, Kelly Schmotzer, Elsie Ruhrkraut and Jon Park. 

Other volunteers who were recognized were: Gwen Peck of Litchfield Township and Jenni Duman of Medina, Exceptional Youth Services volunteers and Donna Boleman of Hinckley Township, Exceptional Blood Services volunteer. Service year pins were awarded to Terry Hart for five years; Marge Kozman, Larry Saal, Irene Morgan, Vivian Caudill and Darlene Lewis for 10 years; Stuart Root for 15 years; Kay Kaufman and Hugh Harrison III for 20 years; Boleman for 25 years; and Barbara Brockway and Gail Ball for 30 years. 

Kilchenman may be reached at 330-723-4565.