Posts Tagged ‘Disaster Response’

Terry Bischoff, CEO, American Red Cross in Greater New York (left) and Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York

The American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY) and the Food Bank For New York City signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 2nd designed to formalize and strengthen their relationship. This agreement provides a framework for cooperation between the two organizations for food, water, personnel, equipment and/or information in support of disaster relief operations.

“The American Red Cross in Greater New York is pleased to expand our mutually beneficial relationship with the Food Bank For New York City. This partnership enhances the ability of both organizations to better service the community relative to disaster preparedness and the coordination of disaster planning and response activities,” said ARC/GNY CEO Terry Bischoff. “The collaboration increases our efficiency to help New Yorkers when they need it most.”

The MOU focuses on three key areas of disaster preparedness and response––planning and operations, training and educational opportunities and public affairs:

Planning and Operations Both organizations have agreed to collaborate in the acquisition and distribution of food and non-food supplies needed for a disaster response operation. Red Cross-trained kitchen staff will be allowed to utilize the kitchen space at the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen and Food Pantry of West Harlem for food preparation during a localized disaster. At the close of an operation, remaining food products will be offered to the Food Bank or the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen and Pantry of West Harlem.

Training and Educational Opportunities The Red Cross and the Food Bank will establish cross-training opportunities for employees and volunteers of both organizations, with ARC/GNY providing disaster-related training and the Food Bank providing training in warehousing and other logistical activities as well as training at its community kitchen.

Public Affairs Both organizations will collaborate to keep the public informed of their cooperative efforts during a disaster relief operation.

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The American Red Cross is on the ground in American Samoa where a tsunami swept across the island after a powerful earthquake hit the South Pacific.

Red Cross has dozens of volunteers already providing food and supplies to those on the island.  A team of 50 volunteers is being sent in to supplement the efforts of the local Red Cross team.  The Red Cross has a warehouse on American Samoa supplied with cots, flashlights, and cooking and clean-up supplies, and will be sending in additional supplies as quickly as possible.

“We will get there as quickly as we can with what we can,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services.  “Our first priority is to provide food and water.”  After yesterday’s 8.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, a significant portion of American Samoa is without power or water amid widespread damage.

Getting information out of the island is very slow at this time.  The Red Cross urges those who have been able to contact loved ones on American Samoa to register them with Safe and Well, the best way to share information about their status.  You can register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website at www.redcross.org.  If you do not have internet access, call 1-800-REDCROSS to register your loved ones.  The information you post will let other loved ones know about the well-being of those on the island.  Please note – Safe and Well works only on American Samoa.  The service will not work on Samoa.

American Samoa, a group of seven islands about 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii, is a United States Territory.  American Samoa and the independent country of Western Samoa make up the Samoan group of islands in the center of Polynesia.  According to news reports, four tsunami waves about 15 to 20 feet high came ashore on American Samoa after the earthquake in the South Pacific.

You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C.20013. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.nyredcross.org/donate.

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“A shoulder to lean on from a caring volunteer, a Red Cross personal hygiene kit containing toothpaste, toothbrushes, a washcloth, deodorant, a comb—these little things make an enormous difference to people who have just lost everything,” said Terry Bischoff, CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY). “These things give people hope when all hope seems to be gone.”
Ms. Bischoff was addressing the almost 60 business leaders and community members who attended an Open House hosted by ARC/GNY–Queens on September 30 at the Sheraton La Guardia East hotel in Flushing. The event was an opportunity for attendees to learn about the humanitarian work of the Red Cross in their borough, and how they might engage with the Greater New York Chapter to help their neighbors in Queens when they need it most.

Tina Lee, publisher of the World Journal newspaper and Chair of the ARC/GNY Queens Board of Advisors, opened the event by discussing how the Red Cross has responded to more than 424 fires and building collapses in Queens since January, assisting almost 2,000 adults and children with food, water, blankets, and health and mental-health services—right at the scene of a disaster.

Another speaker, Yuru Chou of the Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation USA, explained how Tzu Chi has partnered with the New York chapter, providing meals and language translation for Chinese-speaking residents in Red Cross reception centers and shelters, and teaching CPR and first aid classes in Mandarin.

“The evening was a wonderful opportunity to have community members see the numerous ways in which the Red Cross carries out our mission of helping New Yorkers affected by emergencies and disasters,” said Sonia Martinez, ARC/GNY-Queens Director. “We look forward to having tonight’s attendees become more involved with our organization.”

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The following information shows our total service delivery since the beginning of the Red River floods:

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From FDNY:

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano thank Theresa Bishoff, CEO of the American Red Cross, and the organizations many volunteers for their support during American Red Cross month.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano thank Theresa Bishoff, CEO of the American Red Cross, and the organizations' many volunteers for their support during American Red Cross month.

FDNY members took a moment during American Red Cross month to honor the organization’s many New York City volunteers in a ceremony at FDNY Headquarters on March 4.

“Your organization reminds us of the fundamental good in people,” said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. “When things are at their worst, the American Red Cross is at its best.”

Members from the organization’s Disaster Action Team, Disaster Assistance Response Team, corporate partners, board of directors and many others were honored with special commendations for their kindness.

“You do so much for Fire Department operations during emergencies,” said Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano. “We couldn’t do an adequate job without your help.”

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From NY Times:

Families from 22 James Street and nearby buildings had to be moved to a temporary shelter at a nearby community center.

Families from 22 James Street and nearby buildings had to be moved to a temporary shelter at a nearby community center.

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The American Red Cross has teamed up with St. John’s University’s Staten Island Campus to make sure the Island is better prepared for a disaster.


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From the NY Post:

Fire ripped through two wood-frame buildings in The Bronx yesterday, leaving several families without a home – including a woman who had gone to Washington to attend the inauguration of President Obama.

Daniel Festa, of the Red Cross disaster-response team, said the agency was taking six families to hotels last night.

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