Written By Sarah Kloepping for the Herald Times
Area business representatives were able to experience what disaster victims would go through if they went to the American Red Cross for aid.
The Red Cross office in Manitowoc held an experiential lunch Wednesday where participants “checked in” to a makeshift shelter, receiving what real-life victims would get upon arrival: two blankets and a comfort kit filled with personal hygiene items.
“A lot of these people are in a state of shock,” said Joel O’Connell, a Red Cross volunteer who was assisting with the simulation. “It really tears you up to see what these people have to go through sometimes. You’d be surprised how traumatic this is to some people.”
During the event, participants were given a tour of the Manitowoc office and vehicles used at a disaster site. A lunch similar to what victims would receive from the Red Cross also was provided.
“We don’t use this stuff everyday. We often don’t use this stuff every year,” said Travis Waack, a regional disaster services director for the Red Cross. “But we have to have it, because we never know when Manitowoc is going to become the next Joplin, Mo. It could happen any day. And we’re ready.”
Waack said the most responded to incidents are residential fires.
Two Rivers Fire Chief Scott Schneider said the city has utilized the Red Cross several times throughout the years.
“Because there has been total house loss and the occupants need some other assistance,” he said. “Either it’s housing for a couple of days, clothing, food, shelter that they’re looking for.”
Schneider said he is used to working with Red Cross for the single-family incidents, but was surprised to learn of the all the other aid the local chapter can provide if needed.
“I see what Red Cross does on a national scale when there is a disaster and they show a gymnasium full of cots and the shelter that’s provided … but I guess I wasn’t aware that we here locally have that capability to provide those services. That was an eye-opener for me.”
The Red Cross, which is a nonprofit agency without federal assistance, responds to an average of 70,000 disasters nationwide every year.
“We have one of the most robust disaster technology teams of any public safety agency in the country,” Waack said. “I can guarantee you that.”
Between July 2010 and June 2011, the Red Cross responded to 972 incidents in Wisconsin.
“We’re all about keeping prepared so when there is a disaster, we’re ready to respond. It really is that simple,” said Cindy Vana, Red Cross director of development.
Marchant-Schmidt, Muthig Industries and RB Royal have combined to hold tri-company blood drives about every 60 days for the American Red Cross over the past year. Thanks to their support and others across the United States, the American Red Cross is able to respond to disasters both large and small and to provide blood for those in need.
To recognize their support of the Red Cross, Sherry Holmes, left and Lisa Stanchfield, second from right, presented Heroes piggy banks to Bruce Muthig, CEO of Muthig Industries, Jeno Thueck of Marchant-Schmidt, and Jim Neumann, CEO of RB Royal, far right.”, (Taima Kern/Action Publications)
The Red Cross can have an impact on anyone’s life at any time, and this concert is to remind people of that. From CPR and lifeguard classes to blood donations and disaster services, the Red Cross helps people directly or indirectly each year. Come to the concert to hear and share stories and enjoy Rob’s music!
Who: UWGB Students and Staff and open to the community
What: Rob Anthony Red Cross Awareness Concert
Where: Common Grounds Coffee House at UWGB
When: Wednesday, March 28th 7:00-9:00pm
Why: To listen to great music and create awareness for the Red Cross!
Check out more about Rob and his music at: http://www.robanthonymusic.com/
Snacks and cookies will be provided at the concert!
Hope to see you there!
Congratulations to Jim Van Lannen on being the 2012 Community Service Achievement Award Winner by the Pulaski Area Chamber of Commerce. Jim is a ten year volunteer driver for the Red Cross. Jim was honored at a luncheon on March 18 at the Rock Gardens in Green Bay with a room full of friends, family and community members.
Green Bay Press Gazette – March 23, 2012
Four adults were displaced this morning after a basement fire at 1221 Cass St. on Green Bay’s east side.
Firefighters responded at 8:52 a.m. to smoke coming from the one-story home, said Green Bay fire Battalion Chief Paul Arvey.
The fire was contained in the basement within 15 minutes and the home was mostly damaged by smoke, he said. No one was injured.
A man on the scene said he was in the basement when the fire began and he believes it started in a furnace.
The property is owned by Gloria Stache and valued at $70,500, according to Brown County online land records.
The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin is assisting the displaced residents, Arvey said.
Cass Street was closed one block from Roosevelt Street to Irwin Avenue while crews were at the scene.
The Brown County Fire Investigation Task Force is assisting.
I’m excited to be part of the team at the American Red Cross in Northeast Wisconsin! I’ve called this corner of the world home my entire life. I grew up in Fond du Lac and moved to the Green Bay area in 2005. Prior to becoming the Special Events Coordinator here, I worked in the broadcasting industry. That includes 10 years of radio in Fond du Lac at KFIZ-AM, four years of radio in Green Bay at WTAQ-AM/Midwest Communications and four years of television at WBAY-TV.
During my time at WBAY-TV I was able to attend several of the American Red Cross “Dancing with the Stars” events. It’s a very successful and entertaining fundraiser and I’m looking forward to helping plan, coordinate and execute that event as part of my new job. My first two weeks have been great! My team members are very helpful and the volunteers are amazing! I applaud their dedication to such a worthy cause.
When I’m not working I’m spending time with my three-year-old daughter Calleigh Mae. She is my life and I love her very much.
Get the facts you need — before, during, and after a disaster or emergency situation. As the nation’s preeminent preparedness and safety training organization, the American Red Cross developed the following emergency-specific checklists using the latest research, science, best practices and expert opinion.
- Be Red Cross Ready (general preparedness) PDF
- Taking Care of Your Emotional Health after a Disaster PDF
- Prepare now for Peace of Mind Later PDF
Click HERE for additional safety and preparedness information.
Clintonville residents on edge after three days and three nights of strange noises and tremors left a community meeting Wednesday night with few answers, but plenty of assurances from officials that they were doing all they can.
Several hundred people, flanked by rows of television cameras, crowded into the auditorium at Clintonville High School to hear city officials address a mystery that has become a national news story.
“The city team of staff and elected officials are doing everything we can to solve the mystery behind the booming, thunderous vibrations that are being felt throughout our city,” City Administrator Lisa Kuss said.
Scores of homes have been shaken three nights in a row and residents awakened by noises variously described as explosions, thunder, booming and jackhammer-like rattling. The activity has also been heard and felt to a lesser degree during daylight hours.
City officials say there is no indication of any danger, but members of the American Red Cross were on hand at Wednesday’s meeting, along with mental health counselors, who Kuss said would be available for residents dealing with stress and sleepless nights during the ordeal.
Kuss sought to ease concerns from some residents of a possible earthquake looming, saying the Level 3 earthquakes typical in Wisconsin are generally not even felt above ground.
“We have confirmed this is not typical earthquake activity,” she said, adding that the activity seems to be originating within a few hundred feet of the surface rather than the mile or more down where earthquakes are triggered.
Another concern raised by several residents was the possibility of a large-scale sinkhole, but Kuss said the earth beneath Clintonville — layers of sand, gravel and clay on top of granite — made that scenario unlikely, according to geologists.
“After three days, if there was any indication of sink holes, we should be seeing some change in the landscape,” Kuss said.
Kuss also dispelled rumors of underground lakes, rivers or caverns, saying there was no indication from geologists of any of those things.
Most likely, she said, is the possibility of some natural phenomenon occurring under the ground, possibly linked to an earlier and warmer than usual spring.
“There is some reason to believe the warm spring is shifting the granite rock under our community,” Kuss said.
The city has hired engineering firm Ruekert-Mielke of Waukesha, at a cost of $7,000, to install four monitors in locations still to be determined in the city.
The hope is the monitors will determine a pattern and epicenter and then depth of the vibrations that might lead to some solution. But, Kuss said, the city could not promise results.
“There is no guarantee this information will be useful or that it will solve our problem,” she said. “It is possible we will never have a definitive answer.”
Most of what Kuss presented to attendees Wednesday were the number of possible explanations that have been eliminated over the past several days, including problems with the water and sewer systems; elevated gas levels; area blasting or mining; closed landfill or dam structures; industrial businesses; military operations; and geological occurrences such as isostatic rebound or cryoseism.
Isostatic rebound is the upward movement of the Earth’s crust following a large scale sinking of the crust under a heavy weight, such as ice.
Cryoseism, also known as a frost quake, can be caused by a sudden cracking action in frozen soil or rock saturated with water or ice.
Kuss, addressing a question of whether there should be an evacuation plan, said there was no indication at this time that the incidents of the last three days pose any kind of danger.
“At this point, and we’ve indicated to that the last three days, we do not feel that it’s necessary to evacuate,” she said. “We’re hoping that it’s getting better, not worse, and at this point if we felt it was necessary to evacuate, we would indicate that.”
Kuss said city staff and county emergency personnel already have plans in place to deal with such things as tornadoes, and would apply the same measures if necessary.
“We would in a heartbeat have things in place for you if things got worse, places for you to go, places for you to evacuate,” she said.
The city has had some 600 calls since late Sunday night about the noises and vibrations. Initially, the incidents seemed to be centered in the northeast quadrant of the city, but spread south and west over the next two days.
The subsequent incidents were said to be less severe, however, raising hopes the phenomenon could just disappear even if it’s never explained.
Early season tornadoes in 2012 after active spring in 2011
Spring can be one of the busiest seasons for the American Red Cross, with severe weather causing tornadoes and floods that affecting communities across the country.
Last spring, in a span of only three months, the Red Cross launched 46 large-scale disaster relief operations in 31 states. And weather experts are predicting 2012 to be another busy year for storms.
Tornado Season Arrives Tornado season has traditionally begun in April and extended throughout the month of June. But in 2012, the Red Cross has already responded to tornadoes in January, February and March. March brought particularly brutal storms with approximately 80 tornadoes affecting communities from the Midwest to the Gulf on a single day, March 2.
In the immediate aftermath of these storms, the Red Cross has opened shelters, distributed food and provided comfort and care for those affected. As of March 14, the Red Cross has opened 33 shelters, providing more than 1,000 overnight stays, and has served more than 92,500 meals and snacks to those affected by severe storms. It seems tornado season is arriving early.
Homeowner Cindy Cain of Henryville, Indiana talks with Red Cross volunteer Gerry Holmes after the tornado leveled her home as well as most of the town.
In a recent Reuters article, climatologist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said the fact is that tornado season will begin as early as February.
Not only do scientists expect tornado season to start earlier, but the number of days when conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form will likely increase, according to atmospheric scientist Robert Trapp of Purdue University. Trapp and his colleagues also predicted that the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast, regions that do not typically experience tornadoes, will have an increase in days with tornado-making weather conditions.
Already this year, the Red Cross has responded to tornadoes in southeastern Michigan, an area that is not normally associated with tornadoes. With more days likely to produce tornado conditions and more areas likely to be affected, the Red Cross is helping communities across the country prepare for and respond to these disasters.
Spring Flood Outlook Last spring, the Red Cross also responded to major flooding and widespread wildfires. Thankfully, for the first time in four years, there is no high risk of major flooding this spring according to NOAA’s annual Spring Outlook.
“We’re not forecasting a repeat of recent historic and prolonged flooding in the central and northern U.S., and that is a relief,” said Laura Furgione, deputy director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. “The severity of any flooding this year will be driven by rainfall more so than the melting of the current snowpack.” Still, spring rainfall can lead to flooding at any time and the Red Cross urges everyone to be prepared.
Forecasters say drought conditions will likely persist across much of the southern U.S. and expand in the Southwest through spring which could result in an active wildfire season.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.