Last month, the American Red Cross was able to help the Seniors Resource Center distribute 100 Emergency Kits to seniors in Jefferson County.
The primary mission of the distribution was “to talk to seniors about having an exit plan in case of an emergency,” said Bob Schrant, Home Care Coordinator of the Seniors Resource Center.
“A lot of these people don’t have family members to take care of them. They can easily be stranded in their homes because they live in such remote areas,” Schrant said, explaining how the Emergency Kit candidates were chosen. Most of the kits were given to isolated elderly people living in the small mountain towns of West Jefferson County. The kit’s contents—such as a bottle of water— were items crucial to survival in the event one is stranded.
The kit included a brochure which explained disaster preparedness and listed the most important basic needs in the event of a disaster. The information was discussed with the recipients at the time of delivery, allowing them to voice any concerns they still had. Things such as a whistle to draw attention to oneself, a flashlight, and an emergency radio with extra batteries were included in the kit.
Some unexpected benefits came from this safety-based generosity as well. “To have someone come in and take the time to give you a gift,” Schrant said, “just touches peoples’ hearts.” Schrant reported that one woman just kept holding the objects in her hands, her eyes filling with tears.
At 70 years old, Schrant said the kits made him consider his own preparedness; he started taking note of crucial items he otherwise wouldn't have thought of. He ended his interview with by addressing the American Red Cross directly.
“Thank you for being there and thinking of all this stuff we may not have thought to include,” he said, “God bless you all.”