“This is a Drill” —- Red Cross Participates in Kewaunee Co. Emergency Exercises

By Mauree Childress, Director of Development, Green Bay Office

“This is a drill.”  Last Tuesday (10/4), I was able to observe the Kewaunee County EOC as it was operational doing a full scale exercise for the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant. This Emergency Management exercise is a full practice run for all of the participating government agencies, the Red Cross, the ham radio operators and the Dominion Kewaunee Power Station showing what they would do in the case of a nuclear incident   There were many people there in the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and many more people assisting offsite throughout the state. 

The EOC is a special secure place with back-up power, pre-planned for emergencies. Manitowoc County was also working on their role in an incident like this. We could see their EOC from a feed into a monitor in our room.  There were people from Dominion, emergency management, law enforcement, highway, fire, dispatch (911), public health, human services, public information office, UW Extension (agriculture), the National Guard, the State radiologist, ham radio operators, and the Red Cross.  There were observers from Virginia, the Canadian military, and State and Federal evaluators.   The evaluators assess how well the county did in the exercise of handling a nuclear emergency and what can be improved.

The day started with a report of an incident at the Dominion Kewaunee Nuclear Power Station.  All of the government and non-government agencies sprang into action, preparing for “the worst. “  They were on their phones and computers lining up the potential evacuations, preparing the routes, and information plan. Every conversation contained the words, “This is a drill.”  Maps lined the walls so everyone could easily see the 1 to 10 mile radius from the nuclear plant.  There were weather reports highlighting the wind directions.  When the winds shifted direction, the plans changed.   

(l-r) Bonnie Franz and Judy Gregory from the American Red Cross

Every half hour there was a general briefing.  The Power Plant reported on the situation and each agency gave their update.  The nuclear “incident” got worse and became a “General Emergency.” We were now evacuating from a 5-mile radius dependent on wind direction.   The sirens went off (drill) and a Code Red was issued.  Health workers took KI (Potassium Iodine) for radiation exposure.  Judy Gregory, Red Cross Emergency Services Director and Disaster Volunteer Bonnie Franz lined up the shelters in the Luxemburg Casco School System.  Judy worked with the human services and the Kewaunee highway department to arrange transportation for the at-risk population and school children.  Nancy Mirhashemi was back in Green Bay coordinating staffing needs and the shelter supplies like cots, bedding, food and water.  Contact was made with Regional and State Red Cross leadership to put them on alert in case additional assistance was needed. The public was informed through radio broadcasts.  Law enforcement and the highways department set evacuation routes, and roadblocks, while also attending to their usual job.  (There was an “Amber Alert” and domestic incident that required a SWAT team thrown into to the drill.) 

I could feel the tension in the rooms, and my own adrenaline increased as the situation escalated.  I was impressed at all the coordination the community exhibited.  The people from Virginia, and a Canadian military representative, had come because this is a well-executed exercise using up-to-date best practices. 

I was impressed by the preparation and coordination, by the collaboration and the expertise.  As a community member, I am comforted by the high level of plans and competence, of all the agencies.  I am proud to work for the Red Cross and the integral role that we play. 

I hope that we never hear, “This is not a drill.” 

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization, led by volunteers, that provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Under the Ocean, Red Cross Connects a New Dad to his Family!

Katie and Madilynn

Spencer with his new baby girl - Madilynn

Everything had been arranged for Madilynn’s due date. Dad had planned a leave so he could be there with Katie for the birth. But little baby Madilynn decided to come and see the world – 6 weeks early! Her Dad was in a nuclear sub underneath the Atlantic Ocean. The Red Cross got the word to Spencer to tell him he was a Dad!  The Red Cross provides Emergency Communication to keep families connected when they need it most – it’s a part of our Service to Armed Forces. Spencer got to meet Madilynn about a week later and baby, Mom and Dad are doing well!

I am proud to work for an organization that helped my niece and her husband connect on a very happy occasion!

— Mauree Childress, Director of Development, American Red Cross

Pioneer Credit Union Recognized by Red Cross

(L-R) Michelle Kozak of Pioneer Credit Union with Mauree Childress, Director of Development, American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter

Pioneer Credit Union has been recognized as one of the Heroes for the American Red Cross for its efforts in helping earthquake victims in Haiti.

This past February, Pioneer raised more than $13,000 for the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating January earthquake.  Pioneer coordinated a fundraising effort at all of its branch locations which collected more than $8,000. In addition to the fundraiser, Pioneer matched $5,000 in donations, making the grand total more than $13,000.

 “We are very proud and thankful that Pioneer’s members and employees came forward during this campaign to help the people of Haiti,” said Tom Young, Pioneer Credit Union President. “Thanks also to the Red Cross for all the good it does in the community and for taking the time to recognize the effort that gets put forth to helping those in need.”

As of April 7, 2010, 50% of the funds raised for Haiti earthquake response were spent on emergency relief such as food and relief supplies, 39% on shelter; 5% on livelihoods, 5% on water and sanitation and 1% on health.

“The Red Cross is truly grateful for Pioneer’s dedication to support and goodwill,” said Mauree Childress, director of development for the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter. “The support of businesses like Pioneer, make a real difference in our communities and beyond.”

 To learn more visit www.pioneercu.org.

Pioneer Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that offers a complete line of financial services.  Owned by the people who do business there, Pioneer serves nine counties in Wisconsin: Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Shawano, Manitowoc, Oconto, Outagamie, Marinette and Calumet.  Pioneer has more than 50,000 members and has grown to more than $420 million in assets. To learn more visit: www.pioneercu.org.

Power of YOUTH: Great Job Sullivan School

Mauree Childress, Director of Development, with a few of the Sullivan students!

Sullivan Elementary School, in Green Bay, had a penny war for Haiti led by the Unity Club.  They raised $1,115!  Thank you to the students and their advisor, Janell Peotter for your efforts!

Thank you to Pioneer Credit Union and Its Members!

Thank you to Pioneer Credit Union’s members for raising $8,188 for Red Cross Haiti Relief Efforts and for Pioneer Credit Union for stepping up to match that amount with a $5,000 company gift.

(l-r) Mauree Childress, Director of Development, American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter and Tom Young, President, Pioneer Credit Union, holding the big check. Thank YOU!

Students dig deep to raise funds for Haiti

$16,519.75 donation comes from Green Bay School District

By charles davis • cedavis@greenbaypressgazette.com • February 10, 2010

Photo (Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette)

Students from 19 schools across the Green Bay School District have contributed $16,519.75 to the American Red Cross Haiti relief fund.

Six other area schools raised $12,307 for Haiti relief efforts.

“I’m amazed by the giving nature of the children and how they care about people who are in need. It’s moving,” said Mauree Childress, director of development for the Lakeland Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The check presentation received loud applause from students in the gym at Chappell Elementary School, 205 N. Fisk St., and will be used to help provide more than 1 million earthquake survivors with medical kits, food, water and shelter. The island nation was hit with a devastating earthquake Jan. 12 that killed about 230,000 people.

Chappell has an enrollment of 280 students, and 76 percent of them are in poverty, teacher Kelly Schweda said. Despite their financial constraints, Chappell students raised $700 by selling jewelry and collecting coins.

Photo (Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette)

“They’re giving out what they don’t have,” Schweda said. “When you capture them at this age with that idea (of charity), they’re going to carry it on with them through their lives.”

Most of the students weren’t alive for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and were too young to understand Hurricane Katrina, said principal Kristen Worden.

“They just want to help other kids involved, and many can empathize and personally relate to what they are going through — to some degree,” Worden said.

Green Bay East High School students Romello Wofford, 15, and Seth Kutzleb, 17, performed a rap song about empowering young people.

“We create the world we live in, Haiti is in need so let’s start giving,” Romello sang to the students. The tragedy has impacted young people due to the graphic images on TV and its close proximity to the U.S., Romello said.

Coleman, Crivitz, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto and Peshtigo schools held a competition to see which school could raise the most funds in any way possible: Coleman students bought duct tape to stick a veteran math teacher to a gym wall.

Jonathan Gor-Don, senior at Green Bay East High School, helped to raise more than $2,000 for Haiti relief. His “Just One” campaign urged each student at his school to donate 25 cents.

“It’s just a quarter and if everyone does their part, it can make a great impact. The influence of one is infinity,” he said.