Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Partnership Provided Weather Radios in Time for Severe Weather

With flood watches in place across much of Colorado today, residents in a number of mountain communities hit hard by last September’s flooding are better prepared to receive emergency alerts that could save lives, thanks to 100 weather radios that the communities received recently.

Receiving alerts about threatening weather conditions is essential in rural mountain communities where electricity, landlines, and cell phones can be unreliable during disasters. Additionally, conditions can change quickly, so residents need to be able to tune in to information that will help them decide whether to evacuate, shelter in place, where to go – and when.

A special partnership of local residents and disaster response agencies has provided the resources that ensure access to this vital information.

In addition to recovering and rebuilding after last year’s devastating floods, strengthening community resilience and emergency preparedness has been a key priority for Boulder County’s mountain communities. Foothills United Way and the American Red Cross have been working closely with these mountain communities since the Fourmile Canyon fire of 2010 in order to help before, during and after disasters.

Foothills United Way’s Boulder Mountain Resources partners with the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the InterMountain Alliance, consisting of representatives from mountain communities, to determine the unique needs of mountain residents. Following the county’s OEM recommendation, the communities determined they needed to procure a large number of all-weather radios programmed to receive All-Hazard Notifications providing geographic, region specific, emergency information.

 In the spirit of collaboration, Midland Radio offered to provide 100 all-weather radios at a 50% discount and the American Red Cross contributed the remaining cost for the radios, utilizing funds donated to support flood-affected communities. The Midland Radios will enable the remote mountain communities to receive real-time alerts regarding weather, fire, flood, evacuation, etc. Timely warnings make the difference between life and death in disaster scenarios.

These radios were distributed in recent weeks to mountain community leaders directly engaged in emergency preparedness planning in Allenstown, Gold Hill, Fourmile Canyon, Jamestown, Lefthand Canyon, Lyons, Nederland, Raymond/Riverside, Salina and Ward.

Every family should have a 72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit which includes a battery-powered all-weather radio and spare batteries. To learn more about building a kit to help you before, during, and after a disaster visit any of these helpful sites:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Red Cross Youth Honored as Youth Volunteer of the Quarter

Alicia Rendon is a vibrant 14-year-old with a passion for helping people. She is a Red Cross Youth volunteer working this summer at Fort Carson’s Evans Army Hospital just south of Colorado Springs, Colo. Alicia was recognized recently for her volunteer work and was selected as the Youth Volunteer of the Quarter.

L-R Maj Gen LaCamera, Alicia Rendon Therese LaCamera,
Sgt Maj Joyce at Fort Carson volunteer recognition ceremony
The recognition ceremony was held at the Fort Carson 4th Infantry Division Headquarters. Maj. Gen. Paul LaCamera , Commander of the 4th ID, his wife Therese, and Sargent Major Richard Joyce made the presentation to Alicia in front of other volunteers and their families. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization,” Maj Gen LaCamera said. “We couldn’t do our job without them.”

As a volunteer at Evans Army Hospital, Alicia has gained skills and done things that even she hadn’t expected. “My biggest highlight this summer was to work in the Mountain Post Birthing Center,” Rendon said. “I got to witness the birth of a baby boy.” Her other duties included helping out at the reception desk, making patient charts, answering phones, running labs and setting up baby sensors. She also helped the nurses by picking up patient trays, setting up bassinets and stocking supplies.

Alicia Rendon (r) stands with her mother Wendy Rendon
before receiving her award as Youth Volunteer of the Quarter
Alicia plans to continue volunteering with the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces Program at Evans Army Hospital. She hopes to pursue education and a career in the medical field. “My experience as a volunteer has allowed me to see what all was involved in a birthing center,” Rendon said. “I get to see the teamwork that is involved.”

According to Alicia, it is all about giving a “helping hand.” “It’s the little things that make a big difference even if you volunteer one day,” Rendon said.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Red Cross Story: I Would Have Been Lost

Desire McGarvey was a military spouse whose husband had just deployed to Korea when his father died. With such a recent arrival overseas, her husband had not set up any means of communication and she had no way to reach him -- until she turned to the Red Cross. Find out what happened.

Share your Red Cross story at

My Red Cross Story: Grateful My Son Was Home to Offer His Strength

Thank You to The Red Cross and US Navy for making it possible for my son James Ian Bell attend his grandmother's funeral.

My mom (Jamie's grandma) passed away on June 25, 2014.

The American Red Cross's fast notification to the Newport RI US Navy Base Security Department where my son is stationed, made it possible for my son to be by his grandmother's side before she passed.

I'm very proud of my son. Jamie has always been very responsible and loving presence in our family. Having him with me during this sad time was a blessing for me. Jamie helped me in making funeral arrangements including picking out the most beautiful burial plot for his grandma. All of this perpetration had to be done in short order.

I don't think me and Jamie's sister's could have gotten through this if not for my son helping us and offering his strength. He stayed strong and focused for me and my family. Thank You So Much!!!

Many Thanks, MA2 Bell's Mom
Jackie Allmendinger