Disaster team is a jewel

Published 5:08 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

Having a home destroyed by fire is probably one of the most devastating events that can happen to a family.

A fire destroys the home that a family has worked so hard to pay for and maintain. It destroys most, if not all, of their possessions and memories. Even if nobody in the family is injured, it can take years to recover from the damage a fire causes.

Just this weekend, eight people, including six children, were displaced from their homes when a fire destroyed a Chestnut Street home and damaged a neighboring home.

Email newsletter signup

But thankfully, there are numerous people in the city who help make those first hours after the fire a little bit easier for the victims. The responding firefighters and police officers are always the first ones on the scene, helping ensure everyone is out safely and putting out the fire before it spreads further.

But after the fire is out, where do the victims go, and where do they get emergency clothes?

That’s where the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team comes in. This group of volunteers is constantly on call, just like the fire and police departments, and responds to any residential fire in the city at any time of the day or night. They help fire victims find places to stay, even if it means paying for a motel room, and even help them get food and clothing essentials to land on their feet safely.

Without the Disaster Action Team, the devastation of a fire would be exponentially increased for dozens of fire victims every year. We thank these selfless volunteers for their service and encourage anyone who is looking for a way to get involved to consider volunteering with the American Red Cross.