Louise Hodder and Jessie Horodecki, local volunteers with the Red Cross, spoke at Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting about the two primary services the organization offers.
Personal Disaster Assistance covers small scale disasters such as house fires and provides emergency assistance for up to 72 hours. This covers such items as food, clothing and shelter. The Fire Department or family members activate the PDA by contacting the Red Cross.
The second service is the Emergency Response Team or E-R-T which is activated when a whole community is affected. Some communities which had the Red Cross help out last year were War Lake and Shamattawa when they faced water shortages. Long Plain, Dakota Tipi and Waywayseecapo First Nations all experienced tornados and received help from the Red Cross. A fire at Shamattawa and power outage at York Factory also brought in E-R-Ts from the Red Cross.
So far in 2017, the Red Cross has responded to two disasters in our northern region. The first was a sewer backup at a seniors residence at OCN and the second was an apartment fire in The Pas.
Horodecki and Hodder also addressed the desperate need for volunteers in our area. Here we have a breakdown of the numbers of volunteers in Manitoba.
“Currently in Canada the Red Cross has more than 25-thousand volunteers. Manitoba has the lowest number of volunteers. Winnipeg has just over 200 and we have 9. Brandon has 14. They just put a team together in Dauphin. But for us in Thompson - our 9 volunteers - we take care of Thompson and all the surrounding communities.”
Volunteers can be called upon to help with emergencies and disasters in our area, around the province and even across Canada. To apply go to red cross.ca.