Thursday, September 7, 2017

Restoring Family Links after a Hurricane

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - Now that Hurricane Irma has impacted the islands in the Caribbean we know that people are concerned about loved ones that they may have lost contact with. Here is
some information that might be helpful when searching for those people.

Keep calling, sending text messages and trying to connect via email or social media; calling during off-peak hours may help to get through clogged phone lines.

Contact other family members or neighbors who live nearby or may also be concerned about the sought person.

Situation Overview

The islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten (Dutch territory) as well as the islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy (French territory) have been hit by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017 leaving widespread damage. The communications infrastructure on the islands has been heavily damaged.

Restoring Family Links Response

The Dutch territories of Saba, St Eustatius, and St Maarten, fall within the jurisdiction of the Netherlands Red Cross. The Netherlands Red Cross has launched a Safe and Well website: . 

The Safe and Well website facilitates communication from inside the disaster-affected areas to family members outside the disaster areas. 

The Netherlands Red Cross is actively engaged in assisting individuals on the islands to register on the site as ‘Safe and Well’. Inquirers must provide the sought person’s name and the sought person’s address or phone number in order to search the list of those who have self-registered and view any "safe and well" messages that they may have left for their loved-ones. The website is available in English and Dutch. At the present time, the Netherlands Red Cross is not able to conduct active tracing on the ground, and therefore traditional tracing inquiries are NOT accepted at this time.

The French territories of St Martin and St Barthelemy fall within the jurisdiction of the French Red Cross. At the present time, Tracing inquiries are NOT accepted. For the time being, please advise inquirers concerned about relatives on St Martin or St Barthelemy to contact the French authorities at +331 82 71 03 37.

Inquiries concerning U.S. citizens (on foreign land, i.e. US Citizen in Cuba) should be referred to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 and

Inquiries concerning U.S. territory (i.e. USVI, Puerto Rico, continental USA, etc.) should be referred to American Red Cross Safe and Well website. Website: Individuals can search for loved ones based upon entering 2 of 3 components (Full Name AND Phone Number OR Address). In the event that the sought person may be part of vulnerable population, a health and welfare check can potentially be initiated.

Domestic Disaster Emergency Welfare Inquiry and Family Reunification Request can be invoked. Please see for forms to invoke a Welfare Inquiry. Vulnerable can include, but not limited to: health concerns; mental health concerns; mobility concerns; unaccompanied minors; and elderly. The form must be completed and submitted by Red Cross.

Remember to keep calling, sending text messages and trying to connect via email or social media; calling during off-peak hours may help to get through clogged phone lines. Try to contact other family members or neighbors who live nearby or may also be concerned about the sought person.

During a disaster the free Red Cross mobile app, Emergency, can help you stay in touch with family and loved ones. Download the app from or your preferred app vendor.

    Wednesday, September 6, 2017

    Disaster Response: Hurricane Irma

    Monday, September 11, 2017 - The Red Cross has a massive relief effort underway across multiple states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, providing safe shelter to people in the path of Irma’s fury. The Red Cross is part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to those in need.

    Overnight. Sunday 9/10, an estimated 208,000 people sought refuge from Hurricane Irma in as many as 680 government and Red Cross evacuation centers across 6 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes--
    o   In Florida, an estimated 200,100 people in 587 evacuation centers.
    o   In Georgia, more than 6,500 people in over 40 evacuation centers.
    o   In Alabama, about 40 people in 16 evacuation centers.
    o   In South Carolina, about 660 people in 23 evacuation centers.
    o   On the U.S. Virgin Islands, almost 380 people in 6 evacuation centers. 
    o   In Puerto Rico, 154 people in 6 evacuation centers.
    o   In Tennessee, 131 people in 4 evacuation centers.
    o   In North Carolina, 33 people in 4 evacuation centers

    As Red Cross volunteers continue to support the operations in Texas, in response to Hurricane Harvey, more volunteers have answered the call to help Florida and the southeastern states as Hurricane Irma made landfall and continues to move up into Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. More than 1,800 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma now with more than 400 on the way. As of this morning we have more than 125 people deployed from the Colorado & Wyoming region.

    From Southeastern Colorado
    Paula Gregory - Government Relations
    Sally Martin - Shelter Worker
    Bill Fortune - Public Affairs

    From Northern Colorado
    Julia Stamper - Shelter Worker
    Diane Littlefield - Shelter Worker
    Denise Kinde - Shelter Worker

    From Western Colorado
    Sallyanne Johnson - Disaster Mental Health
    Kelly Paulsen - Shelter Worker
    Della Wilson - Disaster Mental Health
    Amy Mueller - Shelter Worker
    Josh Stewart - Public Affairs

    From Mile High Area 
    Catherine Leventhal- Digital Volunteer
    Veronica Quinn - Shelter Worker
    Geoff Goodman - Government Relations
    Helen Robinson - Technology Support
    Thomas Jones - Shelter Worker
    Nicole Kersey - Shelter Worker
    David Schneider - Shelter Worker
    Harry Ladewig - Shelter Worker
    Dan Mosely - Disaster Mental Health
    K. Nigel Holderby - Public Affairs
    Melanie Roth-Lawson - Shelter Worker

    From Wyoming 
    Monte Haas - Shelter Worker
    Cindi Shank - Shelter Supervisor
    Mel Warren - Government Relations


    Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - Hurricane Irma continues to move toward Florida with landfall on Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Red Cross has already mobilized equipment, supplies and disaster responders at a staging area in Orlando, FL.
    Noon MDT 090617 from NOAA/National Hurricane Center

    While nearly 70 disaster responders from Colorado and Wyoming have been deployed to the Texas Gulf Coast for Hurricane Harvey Relief, we have also deployed ten of our disaster responders to the Orlando staging area ahead of Hurricane Irma landfall. The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers and deploying truckloads of relief supplies to support this response effort. Shelter supplies for 120,000 people are on the way to help people impacted with Irma, along with 100,000 shelf-stable meals and almost 80 emergency response vehicles.

    In addition to those listed below the following volunteers are heading to Florida:
    From Southeastern Colorado
    Keith Mercantel - Shelter Supervisor
    Gregory Adkins - Shelter Worker
    Cathleen Smith - Shelter Worker
    John Hartling - Shelter Worker

    From Northern Colorado
    Sierra Horner - Shelter Worker
    Christy Lard - Shelter Worker
    Donald Nelson -  Shelter Worker

    The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Irma relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on or on 1-800-RED CROSS. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on with your check

    If you have people in Florida that you are concerned about you can advise them to download the Red Cross mobile app, Emergency. Using the app can help you stay in contact with those people in Florida. You can also get near realtime information concerning the Hurricane by using the free Emergency app. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

    To get updates on Hurricane Irma and the Red Cross response visit

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Even while our disaster response is in full swing in Texas with over 3,000 responders on the ground in the disaster zone, our teams are gearing up to support relief efforts, should they be needed with Hurricane Irma.

    Hurricane Irma forecast track from Sep 5, 2017
    Courtesy NOAA/NHC
    Hurricane Irma went up to a category 5 hurricane Sunday night and most recent forecasts have the
    storm moving across the Florida Keys this weekend. Our disaster responders are already being put on standby so that they are ready to move quickly if the forecast track proves true.

    Four disaster responders from Colorado are packing bags for deployment. They will travel to Orlando that is serving as a staging area for Red Cross deployments:

    Southeastern Colorado
    Douglas Van Allen - Sheltering Supervisor
    Delbert Hayden - Shelter worker

    Northern Colorado
    David West - Shelter worker

    Western Colorado
    Jenny Roberts - Shelter worker

    Friday, August 25, 2017

    Responding to the Call for Disaster Relief

    Update: Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 - Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross continues to support the disaster relief effort for people affected by Hurricane Harvey. We have a total of 43 Red Crossers assigned to the disaster response in Dallas and Houston, Texas and 1 person assigned to support sheltering in Louisiana.

    August 29, 2017. George R. Brown Convention
    Center, Red Cross Mega Shelter, Houston, Texas.
    Photo:Daniel Cima/American Red Cross
    Recent deployments to the Texas Gulf Coast
    Southeast Colorado:
    Stephan Brewton - Shelter Supervisor
    Ronald Quay - Shelter worker

    Northern Colorado:
    Julie Demaree - Shelter worker

    Megan Michael-Smith - Disaster Mental Health Counselor
    Britney Good - Shelter Worker

    Update: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - Since Sunday, 20 additional disaster responders from Colorado and Wyoming have deployed to support the Hurricane Harvey response. This brings our total to 39 people assigned to Hurricane Harvey Relief. The list below has the names and home chapters of the responder.

    Almost 1,000 volunteers are on the ground and more help is on the way. They will be joined by a group of highly-skilled volunteers from the Mexican Red Cross who will help support shelters, distribute aid, and connect with Spanish speaking disaster survivors. Along with our partners we have served nearly 30,000 meals and snacks since the storm began.

    More than 80 tractor-trailer loads of cots, blankets, ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits, kitchen supplies and cleaning supplies are now on the ground in Texas. More than half of our emergency response fleet - 200 Emergency Response Vehicles - have been activated for the operation.

    You can find shelters by calling 800-REDCROSS (800-733-2767), visiting or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App.

    Mile High Chapter/Colorado
    Bob Dewey
    Constance Hoffer
    Kendal Nigel Holderby
    Gretchen Burdekin

    Kaleigh Good
    Robert Robertson
    Darcie Wisehart
    Sylvia Raumaker
    Gypsy Petz - to Louisiana

    Northern Colorado:
    Ron Hedrick
    Ruben Marez
    Ron Hedrick
    Michael Jones
    Cheryl Ann Hood

    Western Colorado
    Kathy Urso
    Michael Leak
    Anthony Lopez

    Southeast Colorado
    Richard Muszynski
    Stuart Nieburgh
    Stephen Brewton

    How can you help? CLICK, CALL or TEXT
    The best way to help the Red Cross help the people affected by Hurricane Harvey is to go to and click on donate. You can call 1-800-REDCROSS and donate by phone. You can text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
    Helping a family at a shelter! Photo:American Red Cross
    ane Harvey is through a financial donation. You can go to

    Can I volunteer to help?
    YES, we need community volunteers to help out. If you are a strong, compassionate person with some time to volunteer contact your nearest Red Cross office or visit

    For the latest news release from the Red Cross about our Hurricane Harvey response go to:


    UPDATE: Friday, August 25, 2017 - as of 9 AM, Friday a total of 18 Colorado and Wyoming Disaster Responders are heading to the Texas Gulf Coast to support the disaster relief efforts due to Hurricane Harvey. In addition, one volunteer (Catherine Leventhal, from Mile High Area is responding from home in Denver to help monitor social media.

    Volunteer Andrew Aerenson in the Emergency Response
    Vehicle ready to head to Houston. Photo by Bill Fortune/
    American Red Cross
    in addition to those mentioned in earlier messaging (see below) the following are on their way to help with the response effort:

    Mile High Area:
    Maureen Kelly
    Carroll Larremore
    Larry Walz
    Kevin Erickson
    Catherine Leventhal (virtual)
    Jaici Murcia 

    Western Colorado:
    Ted Mueller
    Steven Harris
    Volunteers from Northern Colorado Red Cross get ready
    to head to Houston. Photo/American Red Cross

    Northern Colorado:
    Ken Harnett

    Southeastern Colorado:
    Sally Broomfield

    Spencer Pollock
    Charlie Magee
    Charlotte Handy

    Red Cross volunteer checks out the ERV before
    heading to Houston. Photo by Nigel Holderby/Red Cross
    In addition to those listed above, we continue to have 2 volunteers deployed to the fires in British Columbia and 1 volunteer deployed to Kansas City, MO.

    Thursday, August 24, 2017 - The Red Cross is responding to several disasters across the Country. Major Flooding in Kansas City, Mo. and potential flooding in the Texas Gulf Coast. Equipment and volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming are heading out to help.

    Kansas City, MO Flood Response
    Dennis Hoyt, a volunteer from Walsenburg, CO, from the Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado, will travel to Kansas City, MO to help as a member of the Government Liaison team. He will coordinate with local, state and federal government to help direct the Red Cross response in that area.

    Texas Gulf Coast Flood Response
    As tropical storm Harvey increases in strength the threat of major flooding and storm surge will increase along the Texas Gulf Coast and points inland.

    The Red Cross has rallied resources including people and equipment to prepare for the impact that the flooding might bring. Three Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) and six Red Cross volunteers from Colorado will travel to Houston to begin preparation for response. The volunteers and their ERVs will depart from the Mile High Area facility in Denver.

    The Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) is a large box-type vehicle that serves as the primary Red Cross vehicle for transporting food and cleanup supplies. The vehicles will be assigned to specific kitchens where they will carry food into the stricken neighborhoods. They may also be assigned to a Red Cross warehouse to transport cleanup supplies.

    Bill and Judy Howell are a husband and wife team from the Northern Colorado Chapter will take the ERV from that chapter.

    Andrew Aerenson is a volunteer with the Western Colorado Chapter. He and Herman Dieball from the Northern Colorado Chapter will take the Western Colorado ERV to Houston.

    Eugene McGuire and Corey Hixson ,who volunteer with the Mile High Area Red Cross, will take the ERV from the Mile High Chapter to Houston.

    The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will keep other equipment in the Region to support any disaster response needs within Colorado or Wyoming.

    If you are interested in helping the Red Cross provide relief for disasters like floods you can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by visiting or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

    If you are interested in volunteering with the American Red Cross visit our website,

    Monday, August 21, 2017

    Disaster Workers Deploying to Canada Wildfires

    Denver, Monday, August 21, 2017 - The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is sending disaster workers to help with the devastating wildfires in British Columbia, Canada.

    Photo courtesy BC Fire
    Dana Goldsmith is a volunteer with the Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado. She has been a volunteer for more than 4 years and is an important member of the southeast Colorado team. In British Columbia, Goldsmith will serve as a member of the Staff Services team. As such she will work to ensure that other volunteers have lodging and other Red Cross support. She will travel from Colorado Springs on Tuesday, August 22.  

    Heather Zoccali will travel to Kamloops, British Columbia to help with the wildfire recovery as a Client Services Specialist. As such she will help individual families as the try to recover from the devastating wildfires. Zoccali is a volunteer with the Red Cross of Northern Colorado and has deployed to large scale disasters on other occasions.

    For stories and background information visit the Canadian Red Cross Blog at or visit the Canadian Red Cross of British Columbia at, or for wildfire information visit:

    To help the Red Cross respond to disasters like floods and wildfires donate on line by visiting You can also call 1-800-REDCROSS to make a donation.

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Cat and Dog First Aid Online Course Now Available

    Learn how to provide emergency care for pets until veterinary assistance is available

    For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross has been training people to perform first aid skills so they could save the lives of others. Now, the organization announces the release of its new Cat and Dog First Aid online course so that owners will know what to do in an emergency until veterinary care is available.

    “Millions of people learn how to respond to emergencies and save lives by enrolling in American Red Cross training programs,” said Gino Greco, CEO for Colorado and Wyoming. “Now, cat and dog owners, pet-sitters and dog walkers can take the Red Cross Cat and Dog First Aid online course and learn life-saving skills for their pets.”

    People can access the course on their desktop or tablet at and go through the content at their own pace. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the course. Participants can stop and pick up where they left off if Fluffy needs a treat or it’s time to take Fido out to the dog park.

    The interactive course includes:

    · How to determine a pet’s normal vital signs so that owners can notice if there are any irregularities;
    · Step-by-step instructions and visual aids for what to do if a pet is choking, needs CPR, has a wound, or is having a seizure; and
    · Information on preventative care, health and tips for a pet’s well-being.


    The Red Cross Pet First Aid App complements the course by providing cat and dog owners with instant access to expert advice, an animal hospital locator, pet-friendly hotels, content on how to include pets in family emergency preparedness plans and more.

    The app can be downloaded for free in mobile app stores or by texting ‘GETPET’ to 90999. American Pet Nutrition is a proud sponsor of the Pet First Aid App.

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

    Monday, July 31, 2017

    Red Cross helps 110 people after disasters during July 2017

    American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming, July 31, 2017 — The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming responds to calls for assistance, on average, twice to three times a day.
    From flooding and house fires, or damage caused by weather, Red Cross volunteers respond to provide help and hope 24 hours a day and all 7 days of the week. Of the 110 people helped by Red Cross, more than 40 were children under the age of 18, and nearly a dozen were age 60 or older.

    “July has not been as busy for us as the past few months have been,” said Gino Greco, Regional CEO for Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming. “We like to think this reflects a higher level of awareness for the importance of preparedness in the communities we serve.” As part of the Red Cross mission, we continue to educate communities around fire safety and the importance of working smoke alarms, as well as general weather safety.

    Breakdown of the CO & WY 87 county service area:

    Mile High Area (MHC): 40 individuals received aid; Half of those who received help were under 18 years old. The MHC response area includes 10 counties in the Denver Metro area.

    Southeastern Colorado Chapter (SeCO): 33 individuals received aid; 11 were under 18 years old while four were age 65 or older. The SeCO response area includes 16 counties.

    Northern Colorado Chapter (NoCO): Seven individuals received aid; Four were under 18 years old. The NoCO response area includes 11 counties.

    Western Colorado Chapter (WeCO): Seven individuals received aid. Three of those helped were under 18 years old. The WeCo response area covers 27 counties, serving all western Colorado and the San Luis Valley.

    Wyoming Chapter: 23 individuals received aid; Seven were under age 18 with the oldest person receiving assistance being 84. The Wyoming Chapter response area covers all 23 counties that make up the state of Wyoming.

    The families and individuals were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

    Thursday, July 20, 2017

    Wyoming Red Crosser Deploying to Wisconsin

    Cheyenne, WY - Thursday, July 20, 2017- Red Cross disaster workers deploying to Wisconsin in response to significant flooding.
    Flooding in southeast Wisconsin

    Heavy rains have caused significant flooding over Wisconsin this week and many people have been displaced requiring the opening of multiple shelters. Additional heavy rain is forecast for the region.

    Sylvia Raumaker, a volunteer with the Red Cross of Wyoming, will deploy to Wisconsin to serve as a shelter supervisor. As such, Sylvia will work closely with shelter workers and residents to provide the services needed by those affected. Sylvia has been a Red Cross disaster worker for several years and is a frequent responder when the call of support is given. Sylvia recently returned from supporting the affected by the Arizona wildfires in June.

    Red Cross volunteers and staff are currently working more than 15 disaster responses from California to New York. A typical deployment to a large scale disaster is from 14 to 21 days. If you would like to become a Red Cross disaster responder visit our website at and click on the word Volunteer.

    The Red Cross relies on donations to help disaster victims. Please click, text or call to
    donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Every single
    donation brings hope to those in need.

    You can help people affected by disasters like floods and wildfire crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to
    make a $10 donation.