The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter has dispatched Disaster Volunteer, Bonnie Chapman, RN of Green Bay, WI to Fargo, ND to assist with the 2009 Red River Valley Floods.
Chapman will be flying out Wednesday, March 25 at 3:00pm to Fargo, ND. She will be assisting in the area of Health Services. Chapman will be using her skills as a Registered Nurse to provide health care assessments to people affected by the floods staying in Red Cross shelters. If someone needs additional medical assistance that the shelter can not provide then they would be taken to a medical facility to get the care they need.
This is Chapman’s seventh national relief operation. She assisted in 2005 for Hurricane Wilma, Floods in Union Grove, WI in 2007, California Wildfires, Floods in IL and WI in 2008 and her last assignment was for Hurricane Ike.
American Red Cross Response Efforts:
As North Dakota residents prepare to fight potentially record flooding, the American Red Cross is digging in with them and getting ready for what could be a long disaster relief operation. The Red Cross is in a race against the clock to move food, workers, cots and blankets into Fargo before the floodwaters on the Red River crest as early as the end of this week.
“This disaster is not a surprise; it has been coming and we have been working with local Red Cross chapters and with the Canadian Red Cross,” said Joseph Becker, senior vice president of disaster services for the Red Cross. “But what’s not known is how fast the water will rise. When it does, it could stay up for a long time and we want to be ready.”
Nearly 100 Red Cross workers are already on the scene in the Red River Valley to offer care and comfort. Eleven mobile feeding trucks are providing thousand of meals and snacks to sandbagging volunteers. Another 20 feeding trucks will arrive over the next 48 hours. More than 50,000 ready to eat meals are also on hand to feed sandbagging crews.
In addition, 12 volunteer teams will arrive in North Dakota by Wednesday to operate shelters, which could begin opening within the next 24 hours. Those teams consist of seven people specially trained in the logistics of running a shelter and providing health care and mental health counseling. Neighboring chapters are also sending trailers full of cots and blankets to help supply those shelters. The Red Cross is coordinating all of these efforts with the governor’s office, as well as state and local emergency managers.