La Plata, Jan 16, 2004-- "The Southern Maryland Chapter Disaster Team (DAT) was called to action in the early morning hours Friday 16 January 2004 to assist a family at 3711 Chinquapin Rd in Ironsides, MD that were forced out of their home into the Artic cold by a fire that consumed the structure, said Mike Zabko, American Red Cross Southern Maryland Chapter CEO. Our Volunteers need to be commended, not only the Red Cross volunteers but the First Responders, volunteer firemen and women, and EMS personnel. They were battling the blaze while the water was freezing after it hit the structure. It was an eye opening experience to know that they were doing this with out pay to help a person in need. Volunteers have my deepest gratitude knowing that they would be there if it was our home in flames any temperature any time, Zabko continued.
"The Chapter has been receiving a large number of requests for assistance due to single family disasters, specifically fires, said Bob Maloit the Chapters Disaster, and Service Delivery Specialist. The Chapter continues to assist local residents in the Tri County area with food clothing and shelter. This is our busiest time of the year when people are in desperate need of shelter after a disaster due to the frigid temperatures, he continued.
The chapter continues to need immediate community support both financially and volunteers to continue to provide emergency assistance to residents of Southern Maryland in their time of need. Contact the any of the Chapter offices to donate time or money to replenish the local Disaster Relief fund.
The American Red Cross is the only non-governmental organization mandated by the U.S. Congress to "alleviate human suffering" of victims of disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, and technological and transportation crises. To continue its humanitarian mission, the American Red Cross relies on donations of money and time from the public.
All relief services, including hotel, food, and clothes vouchers, are gifts. Trained volunteers are the backbone of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Program, whose services include mental health services, damage assessment of residential property, and food and temporary housing.
Everyday, 24 hours a day, the American Red Cross of Southern Maryland provides relief for local people whose homes were affected by fires and natural disaster.
Disaster Action Teams, consisting volunteers, are on-call around the clock, 365 days a year. Once on-site, members of the team survey and assess the damage, and provide for the immediate needs of people displaced by the fire or disaster. These emergency needs may include food, clothing, and temporary housing.
Basic supplies (basic toiletries, blankets, water, and snacks) are kept on Disaster Response Vehicles. If follow-up beyond the services provided at the scene is required, victims are assigned a case worker, also volunteers--to determine additional disaster caused needs and to assist with referrals to other community agencies or human service organizations to continue the recovery process.