New Jersey Volunteers Head to LA to Help After Hurricane Laura

Volunteer Susanne Miller drives fellow Red Crosser Andrea Godshall to the airport for her deployment to Louisiana.

The American Red Cross is in Louisiana and east Texas helping people pick up the pieces after Hurricane Laura devastated entire neighborhoods — as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S.

The American Red Cross is working closely with local officials and partners to mount a massive relief effort to provide help to people in need.

The Red Cross has mobilized more than 1200 trained disaster workers to support relief efforts on the ground or virtually, including 14 from the New Jersey Region to help with things like sheltering and feeding operations, disaster assessment and warehousing and logistics – making sure supplies get where they are needed.

In addition to those who have left for places hardest hit in Louisiana and Texas, many New Jersey Red Crossers are supporting the disaster relief operation virtually.

Here are just some of those New Jersey volunteers, who have deployed to help.

At this time the Red Cross New Jersey Region is looking to train more volunteers to respond locally during hurricane season. If interested, please visit redcross.org/Volunteer to get started.

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Red Cross Assisting 62 People Displaced by Paterson Fire

Red Cross team members determine potential emergency lodging needs for those displaced by large Paterson fire on August 27, 2020.

Today, a multi-family fire broke out on Mill Street in Paterson, forcing at least 60 people out of their homes and onto the street in the early morning hours. Two Disaster Action Team members met with families and quickly coordinated volunteers to help with virtual casework.

The majority of families did not have vehicles and were provided transportation to the hotel.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, families were transported by the city to a local hotel, serving as a non-congregate shelter. Red Cross volunteers made certain that every person was provided with a face mask, hand sanitizer and some comfort items as they checked into their rooms for some much-needed rest. While families settled in, a hot breakfast was served.

In the next day or two, our volunteers will continue to provide care and comfort to these families while we work with community partners to help with guidance and referrals for their long-term recovery needs.

The American Red Cross is able to provide these disaster relief services and make a difference in our communities because of the generosity of our donors and support of our volunteers. To learn more about supporting the Red Cross or becoming a volunteer visit redcross.org

Honoring our Volunteer Superheroes

Our volunteers are our superheroes! Each year we recognize Red Cross volunteers throughout New Jersey for their incredible commitment to helping others.

We are pleased to recognize our Pacesetter volunteers, who continuously show strong commitment and dedication to their volunteer positions and responsibilities within a certain line of service. Their actions exemplify the Red Cross commitment to our community! We also say THANK YOU to those who have dedicated five or more years to the American Red Cross New Jersey Region.

Northern New Jersey Pacesetters

Biomedical/Blood Services:

Barbara Sisco, Blood Services Administration

Jeff Billig, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Jean Edouard, Blood Services Scheduler

Bill Kelly, Blood Services Trainer

Joe Goodson, Blood Services Transportation

Ralph Vollweiler, Blood Services Transportation

Abdoulaye Diallo, Blood Services Volunteer Lead

Operations

Isabel Perlaki, Operations Administration

Bob Langford, Operations Front Desk

Kathy Heelan, Operations Reception

Community Volunteer Leader

Chitra Venkatraman, Community Volunteer Leader

Communications and External Relations

Johan Reyes, Communications Disaster Public Affairs

Faye Evans, External Relations Community Partnerships

Financial Development

Au Pair in America, Financial Development Special Events

Volunteer Services – Youth Programs

Elizabeth High School Red Cross Club, Youth Club

Rick Barrett, Youth Council Advisor Team

Karen Connolly, Youth Council Advisor Team

Janet George-Murnick, Youth Council Advisor Team

Julie Siciliano, Youth Council Advisor Team

Jackie Graulich, Youth Club Advisor

Alisha Merchant, Youth Volunteer Leadership

Shaan Rakesh Mody, Youth Volunteer Leadership

International Services

Hank Bernstein, International Services Restoring Family Links

Service to the Armed Forces

Gerry Barton, SAF Holidays for Heroes

Alyson Librizzi, SAF Operations Support

Service to the Armed Forces

Cara Maksimow, SAF Resiliency

Marie Andreozzi, SAF State Homes

Tish Corvino, SAF VA Hospitals

Abbi Kent, SAF VA Hospitals

Board of Directors

Al Cristantiello, Board of Directors Committee Leader

Bill Moore, Board of Directors Committee Leader

Disaster Cycle Services

Jerry Zurawiecki, DCS Disaster Action Team Coordinator

Riksum Kazi, DCS Disaster Action Team Supervisor

Mary Jane Quinlan, DCS Fiscal Review

Helen Jacobson, DCS Health Services

Gary Ellis, DCS Volunteer Partner

Donna Feigenbaum, DCS Youth Preparedness Lead: Pillowcase Project

Central New Jersey Pacesetters

Biomedical/Blood Services

Marilyn Lentz, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Barb Harrington, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Jeffrey Einbond, Blood Services Trainer

Ken Heaphy, Blood Services Transportation

Financial Development

Bharathy Parameswaran, Pacesetter Financial Development

Katie Flanders, Pacesetter Financial Development Special Events

Board of Directors

Jay McGovern, Board of Directors

Volunteer Services

Anika Pruthi, Volunteer Intake Processing Center (VIPC)

Shivani Nallapu, VIPC Leadership

Khushi Choudhary, Volunteer Services

Casey Clark, Volunteer Services §Zar Raganas, Youth Volunteer

Service to the Armed Forces

Sheryl Levine, SAF Event Support

Helen Fross, SAF Hero Care Network

Terry Studnicky, SAF Holidays for Heroes

Kyle Chu, SAF State Homes

David Lai-Len, SAF VA Hospitals

Disaster Cycle Services (DCS)

Elena Duca, DCS Disaster Action Team Coordinator

Dana Poplawski, DCS Disaster Action Team Duty Officer

Ray Esteves, DCS Health Services

Rene Gordon, DCS Disaster Response

Bob Spielberger, DCS Volunteer Partner

Barbara Smith, DCS Youth Preparedness Lead

Disaster Cycle Services (DCS) Teams

Jim Moran, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Jo Poplawski, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Bob Robitzski, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Frank Solana, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Terry Studnicky, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Mary Kelly, DCS Youth Preparedness Team

Pat Philbin, DCS Youth Preparedness Team

Diane Tompkins, DCS Youth Preparedness Team

Southern New Jersey Pacesetters

Disaster Cycle Services (DCS)

Harry Miller, DCS Disaster Action Team Coordinator

Judi Stanish, DCS Home Fire Campaign

The late Vince Giammusso, DCS Logistics

Christine Parkinson, DCS Recovery

Denise Pobicki, DCS Response

Joe Sellers, DCS Youth Preparedness Lead: Pillowcase Project

Stephanie Magee, DCS Youth Preparedness Leadership

Volunteer Services  –  Youth Programs

Pattie Neyra, Youth Services

Jackson Liang, Youth Services

Board of Directors

Gothrie Short, Board Leadership

Kathleen Gillespie, Board of Directors

External Relations

Nancy Culbertson, External Relations

Service to the Armed Forces (SAF)

Ricky Rosario, SAF Event Support

Rachel Hamlin, SAF Hero Care Network

Kasey Bury, SAF Holidays for Heroes Team

Christine Harvey, SAF Holidays for Heroes Team

Jess Bonnan-White, SAF International Humanitarian Law

Kevin Daviau, SAF Medical Clinic

Michelle Harvey, SAF Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

Lu Chester, SAF Operations Support

David Mullen, SAF Resiliency

Biomedical/Blood Services

Betty Limanni, Blood Services Administration

Tom & Lois Guion, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Susan Lulias, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Dick Essex, Blood Services Leader

Jeanne Heaton, Blood Services Scheduler

Walt Mikota, Blood Services Transportation

Fred Waddell, Blood Services Transportation

Thank You for Your Years of Service

Five Years:

John Aponik

Jennie Asaro

Richard Barnett

Jeff Billig

Paul Boothe

Evan Cancglin

Kellie Cancglin

Alexandrea Cannon

Jamie Capone

Rachel Ceccanecchio

Saketa Chadalavada

Caro Chang

Gene Connors

Patricia Crofcheck

Sharlane Cumberbatch

Linda Denmark

Donald Denneau

Kathleen Dotoli

Biswarup Dutta Choudhury

Barbara Edwards

Susan Esposito

Anne Finnan

Michael Geller

Nicole Gerber

Maria Gonzalez

Scott Goodrich

Antonida Goykhman

Peter Grey

Susan Gronbeck

Debra Hagan

Kathy Hager

Karen Hall

Ed Hansch

Lauren Hansraj

Kathy Heelan

Joyce Henning

Phyllis Hodge

Walter Hopkin

Suhayb Islam

Jessica Jones

Arrshia Kumar

David Lai-Len

Curt Lang

Man Lee

Marilyn Lentz

Janice Lipo

Debra LoFranco Aura Lope

Jessica Lovell

Kalpana Malik

Richard Matula

James McGovern

David McNair

Edward Merklein

Kathleen Mersinger

John Mojta

Nancy Monaco

Shaheen Moosvi

Susan Nanney

Emily O’Malley

Dilek Ozler

Erin Palmer

Antonia Parham

Misse Paulus

Crystal Phillips Quijano

Charles Poppe

Thomas Potavin

Christine Racinez

Karyn Reilly

Pam Ritter

Robert Robitzski

Thomas Rodgers

Millie Rohe Weiner

June Sernak

Debbie Shewprasad

Hailey Shewprasad

Naraine Shewprasad

Abigail Sjosward

Maggie Stavrianidis

Mimi Tefera

Darin Thorn

Ellen Welsh

Ten Years

Marie Andreozzi

Maria Araujo

Leah Daniels

Anita Marie Davidson

Frances Dommeleers

Joan Fox

Thomas Garvey

Janice Haggerty

James Hauck

Andrew Hermann

Helen Holland

Adrian Huns

Jeffrey Joseph

Paul Kalamaras

Margaret M Kelly

Zeba Khan

Indira Kuruganti

Anthony L’Altrelli

Sheryl Levine

Deborah Marinuzzi

Anne McCormick

Laurie Morse

Diane Parker

Adeline Rockko

Carlos Sanchez

Gail Schansinger

Barbara Seligman

Roger Strong

Theresa Syper

Nick Theisz

William Ulrich

Fred Waddell

Lary Wasserman

Michael Williams

Charles Wortmann

Fifteen Years

Martin Campbell

Christopher Cummings

Cynthia D’Onofrio

Naomi Fassler-Theisz

Dulce Ferreira

Bryan Fountain

Claire Geyer

John Gordon

Linda Kolman

Ellen   Korpar

Arthur La Valle

Robert Lawless

Susan Lulias

Alice Matthews

Debbie McDonald

Barbara McNamara

Gina Miranda-Diaz

Richard Moyer

Janet George-Murnick

George Murphy

Diana   Noble

Gary Olivero

Sydney Parker

Karen Paz

Isabel Perlaki

Sandy Pollara

Rebecca Rajhansa

Juliet Rothenberg

Antonia Silver

Sheryl Starr

Susan Stephens

Beverly Stern

Rhonda Thompson

Twenty Years

Sandra Coles

Julie Daigle

Elmer Dey

Sylvia Fountain

Elsie Swartz

Flora Woodruff

Twenty-Five Years

Barbara Dare

Janice Simms

Thirty Years

Lois Guion

Bob Morgan

Edward Pavlick Jr.

Forty-Five Years

Ruth Gardner

Susan Hassmiller

Become a volunteer! Ninety percent of our workforce are volunteers. Our work is possible because of these honorees. Your time and talent can make a real difference in people’s lives. To join our team visit redcross.org/Volunteer.

Beat the Summer Heat with These Red Cross Tips

This summer heat and humidity can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. Some people are more at risk of developing a heat-related illness, including adults age 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions, people who work outside, infants and children and athletes.

The American Red Cross has steps you can take to help stay safe when the temperatures soar.

HEAT SAFETY

  • Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle — even for a minute. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who have no air conditioning, spend much of their time alone or are likely to be affected by the heat.  
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks.
  • Check on animals frequently, and make sure they have plenty of shade and cool water.

COOLING CENTERS AND COVID-19 If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat in public facilities that do. In the current coronavirus pandemic, someone going to a public facility to stay cool should wear a cloth face covering and maintain social distancing, ideally at least six feet between individuals. Families who live together do not need to maintain physical distancing.

Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; or exhaustion. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, move them to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing. Spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths to the skin. If the person is conscious, provide small amounts of cool water to drink slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. Signs include hot, red skin, which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature. If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.  If possible, move the person to a cooler place and immerse them up to their neck in cold water. Otherwise, spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPSThe Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts including heat warnings. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Learn First Aid and CPR/AED skills (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you can help save a life.

Ways to Stay Safe as You Celebrate the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is just ahead, a time when people typically enjoy the summer holiday with backyard barbecues, fireworks displays or water fun. But this year, celebrating Independence Day will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross offers safety tips you can follow.

“As we take steps forward with reopening New Jersey, it’s important to know which safety measures to take as you venture out in public,” said Rosie Taravella, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “Follow these coronavirus precautions.”

  • Continue to social distance by staying six feet away from others, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (over age 65 or any age with underlying medical conditions).
  • Continue to wear cloth face coverings in public. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult.
  • Follow guidelines when it comes to how large gatherings can be. Avoid crowds and mass gatherings.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

WATER SAFETY

Warmer weather means enjoying the water. Be “water smart,” have swimming skills and know how to help others. This includes home pools — where young children are most at risk of drowning — and open water, such as ponds, rivers and lakes — wherepeople are more likely to drown than any other location. With less access to lifeguarded aquatic facilities this summer, some may consider open water environments that are not designated for swimming.

  • Talk to your children, including older youth and teenagers, about water safety. A variety of resources are available atredcross.org/watersafetyandredcross.org/watersafetyforkids.
  • If you choose to take your family to the water, make sure the area is designated for swimming and has lifeguards on duty. Once there, maintain social distancing,both in and out of the water, between you and people who don’t live with you.
  • Wear face coverings on land, especially when physical distancing is difficult. Do not wear them in the water as it may be difficult to breathe. Don’t share goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other personal items.
  • Designate a water watcher whose sole responsibility is to supervise people during any in-water activity until the next person takes over.
  • Kiddie or inflatable pools can be a great way to have fun. Drain the water from the pool and flip it over after swim time is over.

GRILLING SAFETY

Grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year in the U.S. To avoid this:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Never grill indoors — not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, stays away from the grill, including children and pets.
  • Keep the grill away from the house or anything that could catch fire. 
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPSThe Red Cross offers a series of free mobile apps to put lifesaving safety information in the palm of your hand. Download these apps by searching for “American Red Cross” in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.

  • The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips.
  • The Red Cross Swim App has water safety tips and resources for parents and caregivers along with child-friendly games, videos and quizzes.
  • The Red Cross Emergency App can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts.

How to Stay Safe Around Water This Summer

 

Brandon jumping in pool with logo

Warmer weather is upon us and summer is just ahead. This weekend, you may be opening your backyard pool, and enjoying the outdoors. This year summer fun will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’re offering safety tips you can follow as you open your backyard pool or enjoy water activities around your state if regulations allow.

BE WATER SMART: Have swimming skills and know how to help others. Achieve the skills of water competency: be able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and then get out of the water safely.

  • Download the Red Cross Swim App and take our new free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course.
  • Around the pool, have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish and enforce rules and good behaviors:
    • Do not enter head first unless in a pool that has a safe diving area.
    • Stay away from drains and other openings that cause suction.
    • Swim with a buddy.
    • Only swim when supervised by a water watcher.
    • Swim sober.
    • Supervise others sober and without distractions, such as reading or talking on or using a cell phone.
  • In the event of an emergency, reach or throw an object to the person in trouble. Don’t go in! You could become a victim yourself.
  • Constantly supervise children around water and avoid distractions. If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers.
  • In group situations, designate a water watcher whose sole responsibility it is to oversee the activity in the water.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. However, if your community is reopening, know what precautions to take in PUBLIC SETTINGS:

  • Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Wear cloth face coverings, especially in crowded areas. Do not place them on children under age 2.
  • Help limit your risk by taking steps to reduce the number of places you go and your exposure to other people.
  • Order food and other items for home delivery or curbside pickup, if possible.
  • Visit the grocery store and other stores in person only when necessary.
  • Stay at home if you are sick

A DIFFERENT KIND OF WATER SAFETY: Many public pools and beaches may be closed this summer. Follow the guidance of state and local officials. Make sure the area is designated for swimming. Once there, maintain social distancing, both in and out of the water, between you and people who don’t live with you. If you don’t think your child can do this, come up with another activity.

  • Wear face coverings on land, especially when physical social distancing is difficult. Do not wear them in the water as it may be difficult to breathe.
  • Don’t share goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other personal items.
  • A kiddie or inflatable pool can be a great way to have fun, but be sure to provide constant. supervision to children in and around the water.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES The Red Cross has several resources to help protect yourself, your loved ones and your community:

  • Learn how to save a life with the Red Cross First Aid App and training courses.
  • Receive customized weather alerts and warnings with our Emergency App.
  • Enable the Red Cross skills on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices for valuable first aid information, to schedule a blood donation, receive warnings about an approaching hurricane or make a financial donation to the Red Cross.

New Jersey Craft Distillers are in The “Spirit” of Giving During This Difficult Time

New Jersey craft distillers shifted their production from spirits to hand sanitizer during the COVID 19 pandemic and many of them have collectively donated 100 gallons of the germ-killing sanitizer to the American Red Cross New Jersey Region. This allows for our Red Cross disaster volunteers, who are still responding to local disasters like home fires, stay safe during a response.

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“We’re grateful to the NJ collective of distilleries, who in a time of great challenge to their own businesses, have made such a significant contribution to the health and safety of our volunteers and clients,” said Regional Chief Executive Officer Rosie Taravella.

The Red Cross will also use this hand sanitizer for volunteers and clients during any large-scale disaster response. With the start of hurricane season just one month away, our workforce has updated shelter plans to adapt to the pandemic, prioritizing individual hotel rooms and dormitory-style locations to maximize safety. A big part of this planning is cleaning and sanitation protocols, especially if there is a need for sheltering.

Many thanks to the following New Jersey distilleries for donating hand sanitizer to the American Red Cross NJ Region:

  • All Points West Distillery
  • Asbury Park Distilling
  • Claremont Distillery
  • Colts Neck Still House
  • Corgi Spirits
  • Disch & Sons Distillers (Sourland Mountain)
  • Little Water Distillery
  • Nauti Spirits Distillery
  • Silk City Distillers
  • Train Wreck Distillery
  • and Dumond Chemcal Inc.

Many thanks also to our volunteers who picked up at distilleries throughout the State and those who bottled the sanitizer for our distribution to responders and future use at Red Cross shelters.

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Three Steps to Help Prepare for Hurricane Season

As we gear up for hurricane season (June 1 – November 30), learn what you can do now to keep your loved ones safe. Here are three simple steps you can take to prepare for an emergency:

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  1. Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, you may want to include items like hand sanitizer, gloves, face coverings and disinfectant wipes if available.do-you-have-an-emergency-kit
  2. Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  3. Be informed. Learn about your community’s emergency response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. be-informed-tw

Download our Free Emergency App

For tips on what to do before, during and after severe weather such as hurricanes, download the Red Cross Emergency App. It offers emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of flooding, as well as locations of open Red Cross shelters. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross, texting GETEMERGENCY to 90999 for a link to download the app or going to redcross.org/apps.

Social Media and Emergencies

Social media can also play a role in emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Facebook’s Crisis Response, for example, allows people affected by a crisis to tell friends they’re safe, find or offer help and get the latest news and information. You can also follow the American Red Cross New Jersey Region on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for disaster updates and other important information.

Red Cross Disaster Responders Continue to Help in Emergencies During Pandemic

Emergencies don’t stop for COVID-19 and neither do our Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) members, who continue to respond to emergencies like home fires and other local disasters.

In the past four weeks, Red Cross volunteers in New Jersey have responded to 42 incidents and assisted 254 people from 82 families affected by disasters like home fires.

One such volunteer is Marty Campbell, who currently responds from his home office, meeting with clients remotely to assess their immediate needs. During his 14 years as a Red Cross disaster worker, Marty has responded to more than 700 home fires. Normally he would be wrapping someone who was displaced in a Red Cross blanket, sitting down with them, talking about their immediate needs and next steps while providing emergency assistance for temporary lodging, food, clothing and other needs like replacing glasses or medical prescriptions.

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Red Cross Disaster Services Volunteer Marty Campbell meets remotely with the father of a family of six who where displaced from their New Jersey home following a fire.

Today, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DAT responders like Marty are speaking to clients remotely through video chats and phone calls. Sometimes in-person visits are still the necessary way to provide assistance and when this occurs, extra precautions are taken to keep our volunteers, clients and first responders safe. We are taking the safety and health of our volunteers and clients very serious so we can continue to help those in need. When meeting in person, our volunteers are wearing personal protective equipment like gloves and masks. Before responding in person, volunteers are also screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

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Red Cross volunteer DAT member Gary Olivero delivers a Red Cross emergency assistance card to a family that was displaced from their home when a tree fell through the roof during Thursday’s severe weather. The family was interviewed remotely by another volunteer, who assessed their need for temporary lodging and other immediate needs.

While DAT responders meet remotely with clients, other volunteer responders act as runners, delivering inactivated emergency assistance cards to families. Once receipt is confirmed, the card is activated for the client.

While families are following social distancing guidelines and New Jersey’s stay-at-home order, home fires continue to happen and we’re proud of our amazing volunteers who continue to be there whenever, and however, they are needed to answer the call to help others.

It is through the generosity of our donors and volunteers that the humanitarian work of the Red Cross continues. We are so grateful for their compassion and care for their neighbors who are often experiencing the worst days of their lives.

You can help by joining our team as a volunteer or making a donation to the American Red Cross.