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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I Am The Red Cross in My Community



PHOTO: Red Cross Volunteer, Guy Forti, visits with a Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy
while providing nourishment from the Mobile Feeding Vehicle.
Halloween, 2016, was a busy day for members of the Castle Rock community. Red Cross responded to help support emergency personnel working the scene of an investigation, and set up an evacuation center for residents of the Plum Creek neighborhood who were unable to remain in their homes.

(See 9news report here: 9news.com/news )

 

Castle Rock Chief of Police, Jack Cauley, addressed the residents in a briefing at the Red Cross evacuation center, saying “It’s nice to see everyone come together to help each other. Not every community has the resources for something like this and we’re proud to work closely with the Red Cross, the Fire Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s office and so many others who’ve responded to help our community today.” 

 

Regardless of the emergency, Red Cross is there. Providing hope to a family who finds themselves with nowhere to turn, giving help to the responders as they work countless hours fighting fires, searching for a missing child, or keeping a neighborhood safe. In the past 10 days, our teams have provided support to six different types of responses, from single family house fire, apartment fire, wildfire, hazmat and criminal investigations, and a vehicle accident into a home. In these responses, hundreds of people, clients and responders, received hope and help from the Red Cross in their community.

 
To learn more about how you can be the Red Cross in YOUR community visit redcross.org  today!
 



About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.



Monday, October 24, 2016

Helping the Homeless Veteran

By Bill Fortune

Every year the Red Cross participates in the Homeless Veterans Stand Down at a variety of locations across Colorado and Wyoming. At those events, the Red Cross has provided a variety of items and resources to help our homeless veterans.
Red Cross volunteer Allison Smith has a big smile as she helps
veteran Robert Esquibel  check out his comfort kit bag at the
 Stand Down for Colorado Homeless Veterans in Colorado Springs
 on 10/18/16. (Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross)

Homeless Veteran Stand Down events are held each year in Colorado and Wyoming and each year the number of participating agencies and organizations providing services and resources has grown.

L to R- United States Air Force Msgt Robert M. Henneman
watches as veteran Dennis Howk accepts a Red Cross
comfort kit bag from volunteer Thea Wasche at the Stand
 Down for Colorado Homeless Veterans in Colorado Springs
on 10/18/16. Sgt Henneman was Mr. Howk's "Battle Buddy"
at the event. (Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross)
Recently, the Red Cross provided services and resources at the Colorado Springs Stand Down where volunteers met with veterans to provide personal hygiene items and clothing. The supplies were provided through the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program that has supported service members, their families and veterans for more than 100 years. More than 100 homeless veterans were supported at the event in Colorado Springs with 86 additional people, not considered homeless, who came in to meet with the various agencies. According to John Crousoe from the El Paso County Homeless Veterans Coalition the number of homeless veterans attending the stand down in Colorado springs decreased this year over last year. "That's a good sign," Crousoe said. "It means we are making a difference.

Homeless Veterans Stand Downs were held in Pueblo, Durango as well as Colorado Springs this year with three more events coming up in Cheyenne (10/27), Grand Junction (10/28) and Fort Collins (11/4).

If you would like to learn more about the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces program visit redcross.org/SAF.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Teaming up with Air Force Academy Cadets to Save Lives


Cadets get organized for Smoke Alarm Installation Day.
Photo by Joan Green/American Red Cross
The American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado teamed up with cadets from the Air Force Academy to help save lives. Over three hundred cadets gathered in the Field House parking lot at the Air Force Academy early Friday morning, October 14, 2016. They joined with volunteers from the American Red Cross as part of the Academy's Day of Service.

"Seeing over 300 cadets all at one time is a little overwhelming," said Laura Kozuzsek, Prepare CO: American Red Cross Program Development Specialist/AmeriCorps VISTA. "Knowing they were ready to help us with our Home Fire Campaign was amazing."
Academy Cadet Mark Brown installs a home
smoke detector at the residence of Thelma Strom.
Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross

Putting together an event of that magnitude was no small task. Especially considering that Kozuszek has been with the Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado for only about 3 months. She, along with the support of Sally Broomfield, Disaster Program Manager, organized the event from top to bottom.

Once the cadets were organized into teams, indoctrinated with the plan and given the tools to get the work done they were loaded into vehicles and headed out. By 10 A.M. everyone was in place and the work began across much of the Colorado Springs area. Each team of cadets and Red Crossers went door-to-door installing alarms, checking alarms and providing fire safety information. By the end of the day nearly 350 smoke alarms had been installed.

"I feel good about what we accomplished today," Kozuszek said. "The cadets went right to work and did a great job."


Big shout outs go to the following organizations for their support for our home fire campaign:

Academy Cadets Chiu (left) and Ermitano provide
homeowner Blanca Gomalez with Red Cross
 home fire safety and emergency preparedness
materials following the installation of a new
smoke detector in her home. Photo by R.W.Firth/
American Red Cross
Habitat for Humanity
Cimarron Hills Fire Department
Fountain Fire Department
School District 11
School District 49
Olympic training Center
Biaggi's
U.S.A.F. Academy
American Red Cross of Northern Colorado
American Red Cross of Mile High Area
American Red Cross of Western Colorado

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign seeks to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the five year perid that began in the fall of 2014. Since its inception more than 300,000 smoke alarms have been installed across the country with nearly 8000 in the Colorado and Wyoming region.

If you would like to help with the Home Fire Campaign you can donate to the Red Cross, partner with the Red Cross as an organization  or volunteer to help install alarms as an individual. Visit redcross.org/colorado/firesafety.

To see more photos from the October 14 Smoke Alarm Installation Day visit out Flickr album:
Home Fire Campaign_Oct 14, 2016.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Junkins Fire Response

The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming continues to respond to the immediate needs of those people affected by the Junkins Fire burning in the Wet Mountains east of Westcliffe, CO.

Red Cross volunteers ready to help at the Wetmore Fire
Station Disaster Assistance Center. Photo by Bill Fortune
American Red Cross
Updated Monday, October 24, 2016 NOTE:This will be the last update for the Junkins Fire Response.

For fire information go to:
Facebook: :www.facebook.com/JunkinsFire/
InciWeb post: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5071/#
Call the Information Line: 719-283-1710

As containment grows on the Junkins Fire near Westcliff people have began returning to their homes. The Red Cross closed the shelter preciously located at the First Southern Baptist Church in Florence.

Disaster assistance centers were opened in Pueblo at the State Fairgrounds and at the Wetmore Fire Station to provide resources and referrals to those who had evacuated nearly a week ago and were heading back to their homes.

Red Cross volunteers were at both centers providing clean up supplies, shovels and individual assistance.

Evacuees check the fire information at the Wetmore Fire
Station. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
Disaster Assistance Centers remain open in Pueblo, at the Colorado State Fairgrounds and in Westcliffe at the Custer County Share facility. Cleanup supplies and other useful items have been moved to those locations and are available there for pickup.  The Adventist Disaster Service will maintain a distribution and collection center for donated items. Anyone affected by the Junkins Fire is welcome to those centers for additional support.

Anyone needing additional assistance from the Red Cross is asked to call our 24-hour response number at 800-417-0495.

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Red Cross cleanup supplies available at both Disaster
Assistance Centers. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Crosss

Updated: Noon, Friday, October 21, 2016

Many of the evacuees from the Junkins Fire are being allowed to return and today marks the beginning of the recovery phase. Organizations, nonprofits as well as state and local governments are working together to provide support and resources for those people affected by the Junkins Fire in Pueblo and Custer Counties.

The evacuee shelter remains open in Florence at the First Southern Baptist Church of Florence, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO. Seven people slept at the shelter overnight Thursday with several more registering for meals and information.
Red Cross Disaster Assessment
team at the Junkins Fire. Photo
American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers are positioned at the Emergency Operations Center in Westcliffe to help coordinate shelter and feeding requirements. They are also at the Florence shelter to provide comfort and support. A team of volunteers were out in the fire area to assessing damage to homes.

Disaster Assistance Centers have been opened in both Custer and Pueblo Counties:
Custer County Disaster Assistance Center - Wetmore Volunteer Fire Station, 200 County Rd 290, Wetmore, CO. Hours of operation: Friday 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and Saturday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Services Available: Reentry passes, clean up supplies, water and other recovery information
Pueblo County Disaster Assistance Center - Colorado Building, Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO. Hour of operation - Friday 10 A.M. to 7 P.M., Saturday 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Services available - Clean up supplies, fire information, recovery information, food, water and used clothing.

Delbert Hayden (R) and Chris Hayden from Adventist Disaster
Services stand in front of the vast amount of supplies available
to people affected by the Junkins Fire. Photo by Bill Fortune/
American Red Cross
The Adventist Disaster Services have taken on the collection, warehousing and distribution of items for those impacted by the Junkin Fire. Anyone wishing to donate can bring any item (clothing, small furniture, non-perishable food items, blankets, etc.) to the Disaster Assistance Center in Pueblo. Anyone affected by the Junkins Fire who is in need can pick up a variety of items. Pueblo County Department of Social Services is also on hand in Pueblo to provide food and financial assistance to those affected by the fire.



Links for additional information:
Custer County: http://www.custercountygov.com/
Pueblo County: http://www.puebloemergency.info
Fremont County: http://www.fremontco.com/

Complete closure and evacuation information is on
Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5071

The latest press release from Custer County is available at http://custercountygov.com

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Update:Thursday, October 20, 2016, 4:00 P.M.
As our support continues for the evacuees from the Junkins Fire, the Red Cross has one shelter open to provide a warm, safe place for people to stay. That shelter is located at 303 E. Third Street in Florence, CO.
Red Cross volunteers Lee Lampbert (l) and Ed Flannery work
in the kitchen at the Florence shelter. Photo by Bill Fortune/
American Red Cross

Some people are being allowed to return home as containment on the fire continues to grow. For the latest list of those areas where mandatory evacuation has been lifted please see the latest press release from Custer County at http://custercountygov.com/pdf/JunkinsFire_PressRelease1.pdf.

A Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) has been opened at the Wetmore Fire Department. Re-Entry passes must be obtained at the Wetmore Volunteer Fire Station located at 200 County Road 290, Wetmore, CO 81253. Passes are available from 3 P.M. to 8 P.M, today and again on Friday from 7:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Residents may also pick up re-entry supplies at the DAC.

A Disaster Assistance Center is open in Pueblo at the Colorado Building at the Colorado State Fir Grounds, 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO. Re-entry supplies are available at this center. Donations to help those recovering from the fire can be dropped off a that location. Hours on Friday are 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Anyone returning to their home after the fire will experience a significant clean up and risks from ash and smoke. People are urged to use caution when returning home. Red Cross Cleanup supplies are available at the Pueblo Disaster Assistance Center and at the Wetmore Disaster Assistance Center.

Update: Thursday, October 20, 2016, 9:00 A.M.


Shelter sign for the Red Cross as the the sun sets through
smoke from the Junkins Fire. Photo by American Red Cross
The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming continues to respond to the immediate needs of those people affected by the Junkins Fire burning in the Wet Mountains east of Westcliffe, CO.

The shelter that was located in the Agricultural Building at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo was officially closed effective at 9:00 A.M. today. The shelter at the Florence Christian Church in Florence remains open. Seven people stayed at the shelter overnight.

Active Red Cross shelters open to support evacuees for the Junkins Fire:

Florence - Florence Christian Church, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO

How Can I Help?
Nonperishable food items can be taken to the Custer County Share Center in Westcliffe at 312 S. Third St.

Monetary donations are being collected on behalf of the victims of the Junkins Fire at the First State Bank in Westcliffe. This fund was opened by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Custer County Volunteer Fire Department.

Volunteer Walt Palmer (in vest) speaks to local media about
Red Cross support for evacuees. Photo by Americna
Red Cross
Other donations: Items such as clothing, towels, etc., are currently not being collected. Please hold items of that type until the recovery phase begins for those people affected by the Junkins Fire. Once residents are allowed into the fire area it is likely that Disaster Assistance Centers will be opened to support the recovery. At that time it will be announced what donations will be accepted.


If you would like to be a Red Cross volunteer so that we have the resources we need to take care of local disasters and emergencies please visit www.redcross.org/colorado/volunteer




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Update: Wednesday, October 19, 11:00 A.M.

Incident Command Center for the Junkins Fire in Westcliffe,
CO. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
Shelters were opened Monday as the initial set of evacuation orders were given.

Pueblo - Colorado State Fairgrounds (Agriculture Center) - 1001 Beulah St, Pueblo, CO
Florence - Florence Christian Church, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO

As of Wednesday, October 19, 3 people stayed at the shelter in Pueblo with 10 people staying at the shelter in Florence.

Evacuees have cots ready at Colorado State Fairgrounds
shelter in Pueblo. Photo by American Red Cross
The shelter in Pueblo has been placed in standby mode and the family staying there has been moved to the shelter in Florence. The Pueblo shelter will close at 9:00 A.M, Thursday, October 20, 2016. The Florence shelter will remain open as long as needed.

How Can I Help?
Nonperishable food items can be taken to the Custer County Care and Share in Westcliffe at 312 S. Third St.

Monetary donations are being collected on behalf of the victims of the Junkins Fire at the First State Bank in Westcliffe. This fund was opened by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Custer County Volunteer Fire Department.

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