Friday, December 30, 2016

Ready to Party? Safety First, Please!

By Bill Fortune

Are you ready to ring in the new year? For some of us it means having some friends over to watch the ball drop and for others it means going out to join the crowds. In either case the Red Cross recommends that you party responsibly and remember, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk!"  Besides, nobody wants to start a new year with a DUI, car accident or a trip to the emergency room.

Our partners at AAA offer this link AAA Sober Ride so you can get a free ride home almost anywhere in the country.

Here are some tips that just might help you out.

1. Have a designated driver or just don't drink and drive. Ask someone for a ride, or use Uber. See the AAA link above
2. Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm - 2am. Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are the highest during that time.
3. Monitor your alcohol intake. If you are drinking, make sure to stay hydrated with water and that you have enough to eat.
4. Take the keys if you have a friend who is too drunk to get behind the wheel. Help your friend with a ride home. 
5. Watch out for intoxicated pedestrians or bicyclists.
6. Be careful with what you're sharing on social media. You might be embarrassed when you look at it later and you could put yourself at risk.  If "they" know where you are you are vulnerable! 
7. Ask guests to turn their keys in and put them in a secure place if you're hosting a party.
8. Make sure your guests have a designated driver or a way to take them home from your party.
9. Offer two types of drinks and drinking cups at your party - one for adult beverages and the other for non-alcoholic beverages. This will keep the alcohol away from children.
10. Do not serve minors alcohol.
11. You've heard of the saying, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye." Be aware of anyone who brings dangerous fireworks at your home or at a party that you are attending. A homeowner can be held criminally and civilly liable for any damage done by safe or unsafe fireworks.
12. You'll hear about it -- someone shooting guns into the air. Firing weapons in the air is a violation of the law.
13. Keep your pets inside or away from fireworks and other loud noises.
14. Check your fence, gate latches and pet area before New Year's Eve to ensure your pets can't get out.
15. Make sure pets have a collar with a tag with your information.
16. Be careful with matches, open flames and fireworks. Home fires increase when people are careless. 
17. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can call for help if needed.
18. Dressing stylishly may be glamorous but dressing for the weather, especially the wind chill, is safer. Here is a link to safety information from the National Weather Service
19. Down load the free Red Cross First Aid app. It can help you help others in an emergency. Visit redcross.org/apps to download or get it from your favorite app provider.

Here's hoping that you have a safe, happy and prosperous new year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Red Cross Opens Warming Shelter in Wyoming


UPDATE: 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016

The warming center was closed at 8:00 A.M. today. A total of 25 people came to the center for coffee and snacks in an effort to wait out the storm. One person stayed at the shelter overnight but left at 5:30 A.M. Harsh winter conditions are possible through tonight across western and central Wyoming. For the latest weather forecasts and information visit the National Weather Service.


Due to the closure of Wyoming Highways 450, 387 and 59, the Sheriffs office requested that a shelter be open for stranded motorist in the town of Wright.  Blizzard conditions are reported in the area and unknown when the roads will be opened back up.  

The shelter is located at Wright Baptist Church, 225 Ranchero Drive in Wright, WY.

Stranded motorists are urged to make their way to the shelter where they will find warmth, food, coffee and comfort. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Home Fire Campaign Helps Veterans in Wyoming

by Amanda Fry

Saturday, Nov. 26 volunteers from the Cheyenne area worked to install smoke alarms in over 40 homes, as part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.

Red Cross Disaster Program Manager James Ledwith (L)
stands with the volunteers from F.E. Warren AFB near
Cheyenne, WY. Photo by Nigel Holderby/American
Red Cross
The weekend event was part of a joint effort between the Wyoming Red Cross and volunteers from FE Warren Air Force Base 90th Squadron.

Staff Sergeant Zachary Davidson said that he first approached the Red Cross with the idea of
Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist (r) instructs the
Air Force volunteers about the Home Fire Campaign.
Photo by Nigel Holderby/American Red Cross
gathering supplies for victims of Hurricane Matthew.  He then learned of the Home Fire Campaign, and was able to gather 10 volunteers from the Cheyenne area to help with the local project.“A lot of the homes we helped sat right next to the Base,” he said.  “We have a lot of volunteers at FE Warren, so it really is an untapped resource.”

“It was a lot of fun,” he added.

Davidson said that the event was a success; he hopes to help with future Home Fire Campaigns through the Red Cross.  He felt that he and the other volunteers were able to make a positive impact on the local community, and that the Home Fire Campaign is a great reminder for families to educate themselves on fire safety.

SSgt Davidson installs a smoke alarm while
Airman Michaels (mirror) stands near by to help.
Photo by Nigel Holderby/American Red Cross
“Fire safety is something that people take for granted,” he said, adding that many of the homes that the volunteers visited had smoke alarms that were either not working or had been disconnected.
The event was also special, as members of the military were able to help many retired veterans, who were contacted by the Red Cross through the Veteran’s Affairs program.

Since the Home Fire Campaign began, the Red Cross has installed more than 499,800 smoke alarms nationwide. 


The Red Cross responds to an average of 2 fire calls per day in the Colorado and Wyoming region.  The organization provides support for victims of disasters, including temporary housing and immediate needs.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Colorado and Wyoming Disaster Responders Heading to Help



More Colorado and Wyoming Assets Deploying for Hurricane Matthew Relief
Emergency Response Vehicles Rolling out on Monday

cid:image006.png@01D22202.43E2ED30
Red Cross workers going door-to-door for Hurricane
Matthew Relief. Photo by American Red Cross
Denver, Sunday, October 09, 2016 - As Hurricane Matthew continued its path of destruction up the southeast coast, the American Red Cross expanded its massive sheltering effort to span five states. More than 13,400 people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters.

Across five states, more than 13,400 people woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters:
·        In North Carolina, 80 evacuation shelters with over 4,000 people
·         In South Carolina, 61 evacuation shelters with over 4,500 people
·         In Georgia, 34 evacuation shelters with 4,500 people
·         In Florida, 72 evacuation shelters with more than  340 people
·         In Virginia, one evacuation shelter with 25 people

Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross Disaster Responders Step Up to Help
To support the response and recovery effort the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will be sending people and equipment to the affected region.
An ERV supports disaster relief with
meals and supplies. Photo by
Arnett Luce/American Red Cross

Three Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) will depart Monday, October 10, at 9:30 A.M. from the Mile High Area office, 444 Sherman St., Denver, along with six crew members. The vehicles and teams will travel to Durbin, GA to support the delivery of food and supplies to those neighborhoods hardest hit by the hurricane.

By the end of the day Monday, the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will have activated 22 people to support the relief effort. Many f those will serve to help people in the shelters. Others will be doing support work such as food and supply delivery, resource management, asset protection, logistics, emotional support and health services, client casework and community partnership coordination. One of those volunteers activated will be serving virtually from Denver to support social media activities.





Where are they going?
North Carolina – 1
South Carolina – 2
Georgia – 6 plus three ERVs
Florida – 13

Shelter YouTube videos are available at:


Latest Red Cross News Release is at:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Red Cross Launches Hero Care Mobile App

Free app puts Red Cross services at the fingertips of military and veteran communities

The American Red Cross has a new Hero Care mobile application. This free app is designed to help members of the military, veterans and their families identify and access both emergency and non-emergency Red Cross services from anywhere in the world.
Hero Care screenshot

“When an emergency happens, accurate information, easy access to services and time are of the essence, especially for military families,” said Wayne Lacey, Director, Service to Armed Forces. “That’s why the Red Cross has designed the new Hero Care App - whether you’re the parent of a child joining the military, a military member, a military spouse or a veteran, the Hero Care App will connect you vital services and guide you to valuable resources that will help alleviate stress during emergencies and provide important information right at your fingertips.”

Some the important features of the app include:
Request Red Cross emergency services including an emergency message or assistance with emergency travel or emergency financial aid.

Hero Care screenshot
Securely and easily access information about their service member in the case of an emergency, including updated information as they move or change duty assignments.

Access non-emergency Red Cross behavioral health assistance including financial assistance and free local workshops for military kids and spouses.

Find local resources and information provided by trusted community partners like Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Blue Star Families, Military Child Education Coalition, United Way, Goodwill, Easter Seals, and others.

Locate information on key government resources such as MilitaryOneSource, VA Benefits and Services, Department of Labor VETS, the VA Caregiver Support Program, and SAMSHA Community Health Support Services.
Hero Care screenshot

Content in the Hero Care App is available in both English and Spanish, and the call center is staffed 24/7 with multi-lingual translation services.

The Hero Care App is available to download for free in app stores, by texting ‘GETHEROCARE’ to 90999 or by clicking on the following link from a mobile device http://3cu.be/sharehc .

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What Did You DO Over Labor Day Weekend?

By Bill Fortune

So, what did you do over the Labor Day weekend? Camping, travel, site seeing, or maybe just stayed home and spent time with family. Any number of possibilities come to mind for what some call the “last weekend of summer.”

Colorado volunteers Volunteers
Suzanne Faerber and Ken Harnett
serving food in Louisiana. Photo
American Red Cross
For many Red Cross volunteers the time was spent providing humanitarian services across the country, across the state or across town.

Around-the-clock disaster support continued in Louisiana just like it has been since the flooding began. As of Saturday, September 3, the Red Cross and our partners with the support of over 2600 volunteers have:

  • Served more than 857,000 meals and snacks
  • Distributed more than 541,000 relief items
  • Provided more than 68,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters 
  • Handled more than 31,000 calls from people seeking help
  • Provided nearly 29,000 health services and emotional support contacts


Red Cross volunteers manned shelters in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina in response to Hurricane Hermine. Shelter were opened South Dakota due to storm damage and in California due to wildfires. As of Tuesday morning there were nearly 2800 Red Cross disaster responders deployed across the country with 18 shelters open supporting nearly 1000 people.

Volunteer Rich Garcia makes a call for more supplies to
help people affected by flooding in Colorado Springs.
Photo Arnett Luce/American Red Cross
Colorado and Wyoming volunteers continued support for the Louisiana Flood recovery efforts and while some disaster responders came home, after weeks of deployment, many others remained and additional volunteers deployed. Since the flooding began we have deployed 35 people to Louisiana with another 11 deployed to support virtually. Eighteen responders have returned home and over the weekend three additional volunteers deployed.

Locally, disaster responders have been helping people affected by the Colorado Springs flood of August 29 with 10 volunteers working in the heavily affected areas. Case work was on going with 18 families contacted on Sunday. A total of 28 families have been helped along with support from some of our partners.

Volunteers responded to three home fires in Colorado over the weekend and one in Wyoming. In addition, the Red Cross mobile feeding vehicle was called out to support law enforcement and fire departments in Parker, CO.

Sunday our volunteers were placed on standby should there be a need for sheltering due to the Starwood Fire in Larimer County, Colorado. No shelters were opened but Red Cross staff and volunteers were ready to move into action if needed. Those numbers do not include the people who were involved with coordinating responses or those volunteers serving as on-call responders.

Why are our volunteers willing to be away from their families to help others in need? One volunteer summarized his feelings after returning from 14 days in Louisiana, "I saw many things both good and bad during my deployment. However, I kept my eyes on only one thing, the clientsI was truly blessed by the clients that were very poor and had lost everything but were helping each other! I would do it all over again in a heart beat!"

The American Red Cross is in need of volunteers in Colorado and Wyoming. If you are interested in helping as a disaster responder or to help in the “behind the scenes” support effort please go to our web site to begin the volunteer application process. Visit www.redcross.org/colorado and click on VOLUNTEER. Can't volunteer? Consider donating to American Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org/donate or by calling 800-REDCROSS.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Story and Photos by Walt Palmer, American Red Cross

Justin Israel sleeps on his left side, mostly, but frequently switches to his right side. It makes little difference in his life. His brother sleeps on his right side, because when he switches to his left side (which he frequently does when he is asleep) he enters a world of silence.
Justin has his new smoke alarm all set and
ready to go .

 Justin and his brother are both hearing impaired. Justin completely, his brother on his right side.

It's a big concern for their mother, Robyn Carr, because her two teen boys could not hear a regular smoke alarm if it went off at night while they slept. Just one of the many things that worries a mother and keeps her awake at night. Robyn's father was also deaf and she remembers that he had no technology to assist him with living his life. Now she has to worry about her sons. She really appreciates the technology available to those who need it today."I have tried for years to get an alarm that would work for them," She said. "I want to thank the Red Cross for making our lives safer." 

Robyn and Justin hold the new smoke alarm
at their home in Colorado Springs.
I met Robyn and Justin as part of a Red Cross team that was installing a special fire alarm in their apartment. The alarm, the "Lifetone HL", works by vibrating the bed to wake the occupant. At 17, Justin was all over the technology side of things. Installation is very straightforward and the alarm works with others already in the apartment. In a matter of minutes, Justin was testing it to make sure it was going to wake him in an emergency. He took a brief aside to actually set the built in alarm clock and put it next to his bed. Just one of the many things a teenager has to ignore each day. 

The Red Cross has documented hundreds of lives saved through our Home Fire Campaign. Our goal is to reduce home fire related deaths and injuries by 25 percent. We do that by installing smoke alarms in homes. The alarm and installation are absolutely free - just call your local Red Cross and ask about a smoke alarm.

For more information about the Home Fire Campaign and fire safety visit our web site at www.redcross.org/wyoming/firesafety

Monday, August 22, 2016

A place to go when there is no place to go!

By Bill Fortune

Sandra's story from the Louisiana floods




It’s been a week after historic flooding in Louisiana devastated tens of thousands of lives, and the work of the Red Cross is just beginning. Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food and comfort right now, and will continue to be there in the weeks and months ahead, helping residents recover from this massive disaster.

· More than 1,700 Red Crossers – including some virtual workers helping online – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are supporting Louisiana relief efforts. In addition, hundreds of local residents have volunteered.

Large disasters like this flooding create more needs than any one organization can meet, and the Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community – federal, state, county and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, churches, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently, keeping in mind the diverse needs of the community.

· Some of these partners include Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the NAACP, Islamic Relief USA, Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Verizon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Americares, Jet Blue, Operation HOPE, Legal Services Corporation among others.

· The Red Cross will be working closely with partners in the days ahead to ensure people receive the help they need as quickly as possible.

The Red Cross urgently needs you to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today.
· Help people affected by the Louisiana Floods by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.· Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

Colorado and Wyoming Red Crossers Continue to Deploy

By Bill Fortune

Bringing Help and Hope is First Priority

Denver – August 22, 2016, Noon — The Red Cross has been responding to the call for help from people affected by the Louisiana Floods and the California Fires. 

Blue Cut Fire in California – The Blue Cut Fire forced the evacuation of 82,000 people and more than 230 people stayed at 7 Red Cross and community shelters near by. Two volunteers from Colorado have deployed to help with the Blue Cut Fire response near San Bernardino, CA. Eugene McGuire will support sheltering in California and Nina Page, a Red Cross Nurse, will provide minor medical support at a shelter. There are seven shelters open in the area with over 230 people residing. Both of these volunteers are from the Red Cross of the Mile High Area.

Louisiana Floods
The Red Cross called this disaster response, "the biggest disaster response since Hurricane Sandy" and the stories suggest that it is indeed that bad. It has been estimated that 40,000 homes have been inundated or affected by flood waters. More than 10,000 people have stayed in Red Cross shelters since the flooding began. Some of the people affected were also impacted by Hurricane Katrina nearly 11 years ago. To them this disaster is particularly disheartening.

One Family's Story
Tenisha Longmire and her three young children are safe in a Red Cross shelter in 
Tenisha Longmire watches her 2 year old son at the
Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, LA.
Photo by Red Cross
Baton Rouge. But her journey to safety was frightening. After running to the store to stock up on supplies, Longmire couldn’t get home to her children because of the flooding. Her mother took the kids in, but Longmire couldn’t get to them. She slept in her car for several days until she reunited with her family. Then the family looked for a place to stay, but some places said they had no room. “I felt ashamed,” Longmire said. “But you folks…the Red Cross…you welcomed us….me…my kids. You folks have been so wonderful. I don’t know what we are going to do or where we are going to go, but I’ll never forget how kind your volunteers have been to us. You’ve treated us like family. Thank you, Red Cross.”

Volunteers Make It Happen
Jessica Clark, a Red Cross volunteer from Birmingham,
 Alabama, gives a flood clean-up kit and water
 to Cedric Batise during a relief supply distribution
 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Batise is a Red Cross 
volunteer whose home was flooded. Photo by
Red Cross
The Red Cross has deployed more than 1500 volunteers from around the country. Volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming have stepped up to join the massive humanitarian effort. They are giving time and energy to those in need. Since the flooding began we deployed 17 volunteers and 2 staff members to help in Louisiana. A typical deployment for a disaster response is 14 to 21 days. During those days the volunteers work 12 to 14 hour days helping people. Some help by delivering food or cleanup items. Some help at shelters making sure people are comfortable and that they have what they need. Others provide medical support to get additional medications, checking blood pressure or helping the elderly or people with special needs while others provide that very important emotional support. 

In addition we have seven volunteers who are supporting the disaster response virtually from home. These volunteers work shifts at home waiting for calls from people in Louisiana. They work directly with individuals whose homes have been impacted.
 That brings the total number of Colorado and Wyoming volunteers involved in the Louisiana response to 24 plus two staff members. 

FINDING LOVED ONES Residents of the affected areas can connect with their loved ones by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Emergency App which is free and can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.

People can also visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and private way that friends and family connect. The site also allows people to update their status on Facebook and Twitter.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To become a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Red Cross Jobs in Colorado and Wyoming

Are you looking for a career with the American Red Cross? We have tons of openings across the country in a wide variety of positions. Go to our Red Cross Career site and search for jobs across the country.

Looking for a job in Colorado and Wyoming? Check out these openings:

Lead Specialist
Denver, CO | RC1083

Regional Volunteer Services Officer
Denver, CO | RC1100

Disaster Program Manager
Denver, CO | RC1248

Regional Communications Director
Denver, CO | CHAP65853  

Disaster Program Specialist
Cheyenne, WY | RC1672 | Posted Yesterday


Check out these videos to learn more about the  American Red Cross:




Red Cross Helps West Virginia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuh90leIoFo 




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Red Cross assists residents evacuated from Hunter Peak

 By Pat Kondas

Hunter Peak Fire. Photo courtesy InciWeb
Red Cross of Wyoming is assisting a family evacuated from their home due to the Hunter Peak fire northwest of Cody, WY. The people received assistance for immediate needs and lodging. Further assistance will be provided as needed.
Approximately 15 homes were evacuated. Red Cross will provide further assistance if needed.
If you have questions or need more information, please contact Cindi Shank, Disaster Program Manager for Red Cross of Wyoming, at (307) 689-0886, or cindi.shank@redcross.org.

Information about the Hunter Peak Fire is available from InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4941/. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Responding to Tornado Damage in Freedom Hills, Wyoming

A tornado touched down in Freedom Hills, Wyoming, east of Gillette, Sunday evening. Red Cross was called but was told that conditions were unsafe until this morning.  According to Red Cross damage assessment teams, 3 manufactured homes were destroyed displacing nine people. Thirteen other homes were damaged by the tornado. Our teams assisted nine people with basic immediate needs that included temporary lodging assistance. Our casework will continue as long as needed.

More information will be forthcoming. In the meantime you should download the free Red Cross app, Emergency. This app can provide important information before, during and after a disaster. To get the app go to your favorite app provider or download the app from www.redcross.org/apps.



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Red Cross Support for Pine Bluffs, Wyoming Continues

Updated by Bill Fortune

Pine Bluffs, WY, Sunday, July 31, 2016, Noon - The American Red Cross support for the people of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming has involved a number of resources from staff and volunteers to shelter trailers and cleanup kits. Today the Red Cross continued the support through individual client services where Red Cross case workers  talk directly to families one-on-one to determine what service they need. At that point the caseworker looks at resources available in the community, in kind donations and Red Cross resources to determine a best fit, based on the persons need.

Red Cross volunteer unloads supplies
for disaster recover. Photo by Amanda Fry
“We have gone door-to-door to each affected home to determine the level of damage and the needs of the community,” said Melody Storgaard, Site Director for the American Red Cross. “We have worked closely with local governments, fire departments and other non-profit partners to bring resources and volunteers into the community.” The Red Cross teams, and teams from other partners, have been working together since the beginning. Groups like the Salvation Army, Wyoming Volunteers Active in Disaster (WYVOAD) have been influential in supporting the recovery

What to expect over the next few days? Many of the Red Cross staff, logistical support and material support will be rolled back to the Regional office to be ready for the next activation. Recovery support will be turned over the Red Cross of Wyoming based out of Cheyenne and to Red Cross volunteers that live in the Pine Bluffs community. That effort will begin on Monday and if Red Cross support is needed people should call the 24-hour emergency number for the Red Cross of Wyoming which is: 307-222-8272.

“The Red Cross presence will seem smaller,” said Spencer Pollack, Executive Director for the Red Cross of Wyoming. “However the support will continue as long as it is needed. We are only a phone call away.”

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT SAFETY DURING CLEAN UP: People are urged to be especially careful with their efforts to clean and recover. Safety is important and people should recognize that there is the potential for injury and if things are done carelessly they can lead to additional damage. On Saturday a home in Pine Bluffs that had suffered damage from the storm caught fire caused by an electrical short related to the damage. “We want people to be safe and use the proper protective clothing and equipment while they are clearing debris.” Storgaard said. Tips about recovery from storm damage are available at www.redcross.org/prepare.

Red Crossers In A Rodeo?

By Amanda Fry

DUBOIS, WY, Saturday, July 29, 2016 – For three Red Cross shelter volunteers in Dubois, Wyo., a visit to the weekly rodeo turned into an exciting event that ended in a victory for the intrepid team.

Shelter volunteer Ginny Warner sponsored the team of three: Judy Howell, Bill Werner, and Amanda Fry.

The group competed against a local team from the CM Ranch, who proved to be worthy competitors. With the seconds counting down, the Red Cross team managed to drag themselves across the finish line with seconds to spare, taking home a victory.

“It was a lot of fun – I’m too old for it, but it was fun,” Judy said with a laugh.  She added that the entire experience volunteering at a Red Cross shelter has been a wonderful experience, and working with the Dubois community has been great.

“I don’t like the circumstances,” she said.  “But it has been great helping people out.”

The video of the rodeo event has been posted here.  No Red Cross volunteers, or rodeo steers, were injured in the making of this video.


Special thanks to Red Cross Team Leader Rae Smith for videotaping the event!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Local Volunteers Make a Difference in Dubois

By Amanda Fry

DUBOIS, Wyo.,July 29,2016, – Volunteers from the communities surrounding the Lava Mountain fire are gathering at the Red Cross Shelter at Dubois High School to help provide support to evacuees, residents, and emergency responders. Daily meals provided at the shelter have been a vital part of Red Cross outreach.

Currently, Riverton resident Ginny Warren and Dubois resident Prudy Gustafson are organizing the kitchen. Both of the volunteers are former restaurant owners, and both are first-time volunteers for the Red Cross.

Ginny said that the opportunity to help with the Red Cross efforts is a special one for her.

“The reason this means so much to me, is because I was a recipient of the Red Cross’s generosity after Katrina, she said. “When Prudy called and said she needed help, I couldn’t get here fast enough… you get to pay things forward.”

Ginny, whose Slidell, Miss. home and business were destroyed during Katrina, said that the efforts of the Red Cross during Katrina were an enormous help to the community at that time.

Prudy, who is a long-time resident of Dubois, said that the opportunity to volunteer has been on her “bucket list”, and helping her hometown has been especially rewarding.t
Ginny Warren (left) and Prudy Gustafson discuss
 the recipes for the evening meal at the  Red Cross 
shelter in Dubois on Friday. Photo by Christine
Smith, Dubois Frontier

“I love our community,” she said. “We have been here 26 years now, seems like yesterday that we moved here.”

Prudy has a lot on her mind lately; in addition to organizing volunteers and preparing meals, she said that on Wednesday, her home received a level 2 “set” warning for evacuation.

For the past few days, Ginny and Prudy have been working to coordinate meal prep for volunteers and organize meal plans, which have been interesting for them, since they are using the wide variety of donated food from businesses in the community.

“It’s a learning-curve, trying to use someone else’s kitchen, and use the food products that have been donated,” Ginny said “It is kind of like the TV show, “Chopped”, you know, you get a basket and have to makes something out of it.”

Both Prudy and Ginny said that they are looking for volunteers to help with meal prep, cleanup and serving.

“What I’m worried about now is getting cooks, and keeping that cohesiveness in the kitchen,” Prudy said.

Shifts for breakfast and dinner meals are open for volunteers. For more information on how to help out, please contact Prudy at (307) 840-0307.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Red Cross Rallies to Support Pine Bluffs Community

Update by Bill Fortune

Pine Bluffs, WY, Friday, July 29, 2016 2 P.M. Update - Red Cross staff and volunteers continue to provide support for the people of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming who were affected by the severe storm that blew through the community Wednesday evening.

'The Ring family, whose house was affected by a hail
storm in Pine Bluffs, WY, meets with  Red Cross
client case worker Jim Lyon. Photo by
Vilate Thacker/American Red Cross
Priorities over the past 24 hours has been to assess the needs of the community and provide for those immediate needs. Close coordination continues with local emergency management and other nonprofit organizations that have offered support.

According the the Red Cross service deliver team there is a significant need for help given that approximately 90 percent of the homes in the community suffered damage from broken windows to damaged roofs to flooded basements. Many of the homes are without insurance which makes recovery even more difficult. The Red Cross has made available temporary sheltering, blankets, food and hygiene items. we have also brought in cleanup kits that have gloves, face masks and cleaning supplies.

How can you help? At this point the Red Cross and local officials are assessing the damage and determining needs We are asking people not to bring in donation items to Pine Bluffs until those needs have been established, We are working closely with local and state nonprofit organizations through the Wyoming Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (WYVOAD).

Another round of severe weather is possible this afternoon and evening in Wyoming. To stay informed about severe weather and to learn how to be better prepared download our free mobile app Emergency from redcross.org/apps. To have first aid information at your finger tips download the free Red Cross First Aid app.

If you would like to help the Red Cross respond to disasters like the one in Wyoming you can make a financial donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or visiting our website, www.redcross.org/donate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update by Bill Fortune

Pine Bluffs, WY, Thursday, July 28, 2016 - Teams of Red Cross volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming are on the way to help the people of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming who experienced the affect of a severe thunderstorm with large hail, strong winds and heavy rain, Numerous homes have been damaged and a call for Red Cross support went out shortly after the event,

Volunteers and staff are in Pine Bluffs this morning working closely with local and state resources to determine the immediate needs of the community. Red Cross priorities will be to assess the damage, determine immediate needs and then bring in the resources that are needed, A shelter supply trailer will be on scene by midday along with volunteers to support a community shelter if needed,

Red Cross clean up kits are available at the Pine Bluffs Townhall and additional supplies will be coming in through the day.

How can you help? At this point the Red Cross and local officials are assessing the damage and determining needs We are asking people not to bring in donation items to Pine Bluffs until those needs have been established, We are working closely with local and state nonprofit organizations through the Wyoming Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (WYVOAD).

Another round of severe weather is possible this afternoon and evening in Wyoming. To stay informed about severe weather and to learn how to be better prepared download our free mobile app Emergency from redcross.org/apps. To have first aid information at your finger tips download the free Red Cross First Aid app.

If you would like to help the Red Cross respond to disasters like the one in Wyoming you can make a financial donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or visiting our website, www.redcross.org/donate.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wyoming Wildfire Response Information

By Amanda Fry

DUBOIS, WY, Saturday, July 309, 2016 5 P.M. Update – As firefighters work to bring the Lava Creek Fire under control, the Red Cross continues to provide community support for residents in and surrounding Dubois.

The fire has currently affected over 13,000 acres, and was 20 percent contained as of Saturday, Incident Commander Kim Martin said during a community meeting held at the Dubois High School on Saturday.
Bill Werner, Site Manager for Red Cross, speaks
 to the community in Dubois, WY. Photo by Amanda Fry

The Red Cross has established an emergency shelter and disaster center at the Dubois High School to assist the community.

The personnel staffed at this facility are not only providing the resources needed for the evacuees, but also visiting with the volunteers of the community helping in the shelter to establish contacts for future needs. Information on partnering with the Red Cross is being provided as well. Volunteers from throughout Colorado and Wyoming have traveled to the location to assist at the center, and many local residents are volunteering to provide support at the center as well.

“The compassion and caring that I have seen since I’ve been here – you should truly be proud of the kind of community that you are,” Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Bill Werner said during the meeting.

The Center has showers, cots, and refreshments for evacuees and residents. Since Thursday, 512 individuals have come for community meals at the center, as well as over 600 snacks for residents and emergency responders.

Red Cross will continue to provide resources, meals, and temporary shelter for residents as needed.

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Update by Amanda Fry

DUBOIS, WY, Friday, July 29, 2016, 10 a.m. UPDATE -  As firefighters and emergency responders continue to fight the Lava Mountain Fire near Dubois, Wyoming, the Wyoming Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter and base for residents and response coordinators.

Incident Command briefs concerned people at the Dubois
High School Thursday evening. Photo by Amanda Fry
As of July 28, the fire was 5 percent contained, and had burned 12,869 acres. 766 responders are currently working to contain the blaze. No homes have been destroyed, however, around 900 individuals have had to evacuate due to eminent fire danger.

The Red Cross has established an emergency shelter and disaster center at the Dubois High School to assist the community.The emergency shelter and disaster center is located at the Dubois High School.

Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Manager Bill Werner said that the shelter offers a wide variety of services for residents.

Wyoming State Patrol Lt. Lee Pence
helps clean up after the community
dinner in Dubois, WY. Photo by
Amanda Fry, Red Cross
The organization is also assisting community members in networking to provide services for each other. Werner said that residents have stopped by the shelter to offer support for their neighbors, including providing pasture space for displaced horses and livestock.

“I know neighbors want to help neighbors, so if you can come in and offer your services, we can connect you with someone who is needing help,” he said.

In addition to providing emergency shelter and services, the Red Cross is providing meals for the community, and a venue for residents to meet with emergency management for updates on the ongoing situation.

Red Cross volunteers (in red shirts)
provide snacks and water to fire
fighters working the Lava Mountain Fire.
Photo by Amanda Fry, Red Cross
Volunteers have also been driving along fire perimeters to offer first responders refreshments.

Shoshone National Forest Supervisor Joseph Alexander said that both the community and outside resources, including the Red Cross, have been a great help during the fire, and he is “cautiously optimistic” about the current progress in containing the Lava Mountain Fire. “We have some fantastic resources,” he said. “When you combine them, I would say we are very lucky.”

Wildfire status information is available from InciWeb here.

Wildfire Safety and Preparedness information is available from the Red Cross at redcross.org/prepare.

The Red Cross offers free mobile apps that can help before, during and after a wildfire. These apps are available from any preferred app vendor. All you need to do is go to your preferred provider and search Red Cross. You may also get the apps at www.redcross.org/apps. The recommended apps are: Emergency, Wildfire and FirstAid.

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Update by Bill Fortune

Dubois, WY, Thursday, July 28, 2016, 10 A.M. Update: Support continues for the people affected by the Lava Mountain Fire.

The shelter at the old Dubois High School will move to the new Dubois High School at noon today. The new shelter location is 700 North First St., Dubois, Wyoming. All services that were available at the old location will be moved to the new location. A community dinner will be held tonight at the new shelter location where an estimated 200 meals will be served.

The Red Cross is working with local service organizations and partners to support the feeding effort associated with the Lava Mountain Fire. Overnight one person stayed at the shelter Wednesday night with several fire fighters sleeping at the facility during the day. However a much larger number of people are taking advantage of the resources available at the shelter, including food, water and fire information.

The Lava Mountain fire is one of nine active  fires burning in Wyoming and it has the highest priority in the State due to its potential impact on people and their homes. Residents are encouraged to listen to local media for the latest evacuation notices. They can also get information from the Fremont County Sheriff Office on Facebook at Fremont County Sheriff's Office - Wyoming.

Wildfire information for Wyoming is available from InciWeb here.

Wildfire Safety and Preparedness information is available from the Red Cross at redcross.org/prepare.

The Red Cross offers free mobile apps that can help before, during and after a wildfire. These apps are available from any preferred app vendor. All you need to do is go to your preferred provider and search Red Cross. You may also get the apps at www.redcross.org/appsThe recommended apps are: Emergency, Wildfire and FirstAid.

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Update by Bill Fortune

Casper, WY, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 10 A.M. Update: The American Red Cross continues to provide support for the wildfires that are raging in Wyoming. Red Cross staff and volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming are on site working closely with local, state and federal responders.

Lava Mtn Fire, July 26, 2016. Photo courtesy InciWeb.
The evacuation shelter remains open at the old Dubois High School, 314 Helmer St., Dubois, Wyoming. Two people stayed at the shelter overnight Tuesday. Many more people have accessed the services at the shelter for food, snacks, water and, of course, wildfire information. A community meeting was held at the shelter location Tuesday evening where people received the latest information about the Lava Mountain Fire.

The Lava Mountain fire is one of nine active  fires burning in Wyoming and it has the highest priority in the State due to its potential impact on people and their homes. Residents are encouraged to listen to local media for the latest evacuation notices. They can also get information from the Fremont County Sheriff Office on Facebook at Fremont County Sheriff's Office - Wyoming.

Wildfire information for Wyoming is available from InciWeb here.

Wildfire Safety and Preparedness information is available from the Red Cross at redcross.org/prepare.

The Red Cross offers free mobile apps that can help before, during and after a wildfire. These apps are available from any preferred app vendor. All you need to do is go to your preferred provider and search Red Cross. You may also get the apps at www.redcross.org/appsThe recommended apps are: Emergency, Wildfire and FirstAid.

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Update by Bill Fortune

Cheyenne, WY, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 2 P.M. Update - The American Red Cross continues to provide support for the wildfires raging in Wyoming. According to the Incident Information System (InciWeb)  there were nine active wildfires in Wyoming as of 8 A.m. Tuesday. Over the past several days the Red Cross has opened evacuation centers and shelters in several locations near the active fire areas.

Lava Mountain Fire smoke plume on July 21, 2016. Photo
courtesy InciWeb
Lava Mountain Fire - An evacuation shelter was opened Monday evening to support the evacuation requirements of the Union Pass residential area. The evacuation shelter was opened at the old Dubois High School, 314 Helmer St. in Dubois, WY.  One person stayed at the Dubois shelter Monday night but many more people accessed the shelter to get fire information, along with, snacks and water supplies. 

For wildfire information on InciWeb related to the Lava Mountain Fire click here.

For  wildfire preparedness and recovery information from the American Red Cross click here.