Tag Archives: Volunteers

Supporting residents affected by last week’s storm

Regional Red Cross teams continue work with counties to help those displaced

This information was last updated on Wednesday,  February 3, at 10 a.m.

be-redcross-readyCurrent situation: In response to the evacuation of some 15,000 people in the Central Coast area due to last week’s dangerously wet and windy storms in Northern California, regional Red Cross teams have mobilized to support to those in need.

How we have been helping during this emergency response:

As of Monday morning ( February 1), the American Red Cross had 100 disaster responders on this job who are providing assistance to residents affected by this week’s evacuation orders. Working with our partners, these Red Cross responders have:

  • Staffed Temporary Evacuation Points (TEPs) established in Monterey, San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties to assist residents under evacuation orders.
  • Provided over 2,650 meals and snacks to those displaced.
  • Provided more than 1,200 total overnight stays in hotels for displaced evacuees.

Our Disaster Health and Mental Health team members are also supporting people affected by this week’s storm. Even when the immediate danger has passed, the impact can still be felt. Taking those first steps toward recovery can be easier with a little support. Here are some very helpful tips from them. To date, the Red Cross has:

  • Provided nearly 165 individual care contacts to those affected.

As the needs of those returning home become clear, the Red Cross is also ensuring emergency relief supplies such as clean-up kits are available to those who need them.

Support at evacuation centers:

As of Saturday morning, all Temporary Evacuation Points (TEPs) have been closed as county officials have lifted most evacuation orders and residents begin to return home across Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Monterey Counties.

Before Monterey County closed their TEPs, Red Cross teams helped staff two locations for county for residents affected by evacuation orders. Those TEPs had been operational at the following locations:

  • Carmel Valley Library, 65 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel, CA 93942
  • Toro Park School, 22500 Portola Dr., Salinas, CA, 93908

With the closing of Monterey County TEPs, residents are advised to call 211 if they have questions regarding evacuation orders and safety information. Assistance is available in English and Spanish. Information is also available on the Monterey County EOC web site. To register for emergency alerts, visit www.alertmontereycounty.org. Residents of this county may also text MCWINTER to 888777 for updates.

Before Santa Cruz County closed their TEPs, Red Cross teams had also been staffing three similar TEPs in that county for residents affected by evacuation orders. Those TEPs had been operational at the following locations:

  • San Lorenzo Valley High School — 7105 Hwy. 9, Felton, CA 95018
  • Scotts Valley Community Center — 360 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley, CA 95066
  • Pacific Elementary School — 50 Ocean Street, Davenport, CA 95017

With the closing of Santa Cruz County TEPs, the county has established a resource number that evacuees can call if they need assistance. That number is: 831-454-2181.

Evacuation orders:

  • Santa Cruz County — With evacuation orders lifted in this county, we informed our hotel clients from this county about this change on Thursday. Residents are making plans for their next steps by either returning home or moving into more comfortable long-term housing. Our Red Cross workers have been reaching out to assist residents in making such plans. For evacuation information in this county, visit zonehaven.com.
  • Monterey County — With evacuation orders lifted in most areas of this county, residents are making plans for their next steps by either returning home or moving into more comfortable long-term housing. Our Red Cross workers have been reaching out to assist residents in making such plans. For evacuation information in this county, visit www.co.monterey.ca.us/winterstorm.
  • San Mateo County — With evacuation orders lifted in this county, we informed our hotel clients from this county about this change on Thursday. Residents are making plans for their next steps by either returning home or moving into more comfortable long-term housing. Our Red Cross workers have been reaching out to assist residents in making such plans. For evacuation information in this county, visit zonehaven.com.

Other related information from the American Red Cross:

  • Please prepare now: For tips and other information about a range of emergency situations, please visit redcross.org/gethelp to learn more.
  • How has our Red Cross disaster response work been modified because of the pandemic? See this story.
  • You can support our disaster-response work in two very important ways: Become a Red Cross volunteer and/or make a financial donation.
    • Become a volunteer: Please consider getting trained as a Shelter Worker so that you can help us help others during wildfires and other large disasters. For more information and/or to start your application process; just go today to redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer.html.
    • Make a financial donation: Just go here and designate your gift for Disaster Relief. Thank you so very much!

‘Go-To Guy’ is the Marin Volunteer of the Year

By Marcia Antipa

Red Cross volunteer Kevin Sagar flexing skills

What does a law enforcement officer do in his spare time? Volunteer to help others, of course. Meet Kevin Sagar, the American Red Cross Volunteer of the Year for Marin County.

Kevin is wrapping up his first year as a police officer with the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, known as the SMART Train.

“The majority of my job is looking for people that are on the train tracks, either oblivious to the trains or trying to hurt themselves. Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at the right time, but it is nice when we do get there and spot someone before something happens.”

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Heeding the call and going all-in

By John Lindner

Regional Volunteer of the Year, Dave Dorman

After speaking with Dave Dorman for 30 minutes, you might wonder if he does anything else outside of the Red Cross. He’s a self-described “semi-full-time volunteer.” This same unwavering dedication earned him the Regional Volunteer of the Year Award.

While he’s officially been a proud Red Cross volunteer since 1984, Dave’s first contact with the Red Cross occurred during water safety instructor and lifeguard training in the 1950s. In the 1970s, he taught first aid and artificial respiration for his employer and discovered his Red Cross calling. He would eventually gravitate to disaster operations, and more specifically, to logistics support: acquiring, organizing, and delivering materials during a disaster. 

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Human connection: the heart of the Red Cross

Debbie Yee, Jane Jennings, and Ellen Armosino at a 2019 Red Cross event | Red Cross photographer: Ritch Davidson.

In 1991, during the Oakland Hills Fire, Jane Jennings had her first interaction with the American Red Cross. “They were running shelters for the county, and as a county worker, I was asked to be involved in the shelter. [My experience] convinced me that when I retired, I wanted to go back with the Red Cross,” says Jennings. Now, almost thirty years later, Jennings has won the Red Cross’s highest volunteer award, the Clara Barton Meritorious Leadership Award.

After retiring from a career filled with case management as a Probation Officer, Jennings found a natural transition, pivoting into a caseworker under the Disaster Action Team (DAT) for the Red Cross. “Now it’s called recovery,” explains Jennings, “but the normal casework is following up on DAT calls. DAT goes out, gives immediate assistance, and within the next day, casework starts following up with the client and writing referrals and assistance…it takes training and developing a comfort level. It’s not a job that’s impossible to do; it’s just, is that the role you’re comfortable doing?” Luckily for the Red Cross, it is a job Jennings has been comfortable performing for twenty years.

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Leading leaders and finding gems

Laura Hovden, San Mateo Volunteer of the Year

Laura Hovden, of Woodside, CA, recently received the San Mateo Volunteer of the Year Award during the Chapter’s annual volunteer recognition event. A born leader, Laura encourages others to expand their skills and expertise and take on leadership roles of their own. Her flexibility and high aptitude for success have led her to fulfill myriad duties across the organization, including regional and divisional appointments.

Laura took a moment last week to fill us in on her experiences.

Congratulations on the recognition as Volunteer of the Year!

Thank you, I feel so honored.

When did you first get involved with the Red Cross?

I joined when my kids were graduating from high school in 2014. I wanted to have something to do that would be meaningful after they were gone. At the Red Cross, I found all kinds of interesting people and just loved doing this kind of work.

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Helping communities come back together

By Debbi Behrman

John in full Red Cross attire.

The American Red Cross of the North Bay honored John McMahon with their Solano Volunteer of the Year Award at their annual recognition event on October 20, 2020. John has volunteered with the Red Cross since 2012 in many roles. He currently serves as the Solano County Red Cross Mass Care Coordinator, where his primary responsibility is to keep Solano County ready to respond to disasters.

“John has always displayed an open and helpful attitude to all volunteers, no matter if they are brand new or a veteran volunteer,” says Marcia Antipa, a communications volunteer with the Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region. “John has exhibited his leadership skills during so many of our activities. Fire, floods, hurricanes, you name it, John has seen it all!”

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