Wednesday, May 12, 2010

While Deployed: My First Assignment

Chuck works in the IT Department of the American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter. He recently accepted his first disaster response assignment outside of the Dallas Area to assist with the flooding in Nashville. Here is what he has to say:

The Disaster Recovery here in Nashville is going well, and I am learning a lot. It is controlled chaos, and the hours go by really quick with little to no idle time. I set up a controlled server for the entire HQ yesterday (they were on a VSat). I will work at a chapter on Wednesday or Thursday that had damage so extensive that we need to set up a network for them, at another location.

A couple of really cool things have happened- Yesterday after working 12 hours straight I was asked to take breakfast for three days to a shelter. I said yes before realizing that it was 80 miles each way. Using my Blackberry as my Navigator, my phone started losing power in the middle of nowhere, and partly from a lack of sleep and just not knowing where I was I began to get frustrated. After finding the Shelter, a client at the shelter helped me unload all of the food, and then helped me load up some things to take back. I asked him about the damage in his area. His family lost everything they had- cars, house, complete loss. Yet here is this guy sincerely thanking me for bringing the food!

Also, a couple of client caseworkers were out in the field working with a family. A lady ran up to them in a panic seeing their Red Cross vests and explained that her child was choking on hard candy. One Red Crosser called 911 and the other performed the Heimleich Manuver, which saved the kids life.

It's things like this that remind me that in a disaster or out of a disaster, at a chapter, or in the field, we have a postive impact.

Thought that I would share.


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