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September 2009

Volume 2, Issue 1

American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis, 441 East 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202 317-684-1441

September Is National Preparedness Month
By Ann A. Gregson

S eptember is National Preparedness Month and the American
Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis is celebrating in style! The
Greater Indianapolis Red Cross is collaborating with Marion
Patriot Day: A National Day of Service and Remembrance

On Friday, September 11, the partners will regroup for the 2009
County Emergency Management, Hamilton County Emergency Community Fair. This is the 8th year for the fair, which is held on
Management, State Farm Insurance, and WISH-TV 8 in an all-out Monument Circle from 11:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. and is co-hosted by
blitz to help Hoosiers Be Red Cross Ready for disasters and other the City of Indianapolis and the United Way of Central Indiana.
emergencies. The fair was established to remember the events of September 11,
2001, and invites non-profits to showcase their mission and recruit
It’s Back to School for You volunteers. The Red Cross, Marion County Emergency Manage-
ment, and State Farm will be out in force educating the public
Getting ready to go back to school and getting ready for emergen- about disaster safety and how they can advance their personal and
cies went hand in hand as the partnership kicked off early on Sat- community preparedness. A third and final Enter-to-Win an Awe-
urday, August 1, at the Marion County Health Department’s Back some Item for Your Disaster Supplies Kit drawing will also be
to School Family Day. Ten thousand backpacks stuffed with held. As is tradition, volunteers will hand out cold bottled water
school supplies including a Be Red Cross Ready pencil and from the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle to weary down-
bookmark as well as a new co-branded Be Red Cross Ready bro- town office workers. Stop by and see us at our usual spot on the
chure outlining the basic preparedness actions steps were distrib- southwest quadrant of the Circle in front of the Chocolate Café.
uted to school students. State Farm and Red Cross volunteers also
had an opportunity to interact with hundreds of youngsters and Print This
parents as they tested their EPQ—Emergency Preparedness Quo-
tient—by giving the Be Red Cross Ready Wheel of Prepared- Be on the look out for partner billboards and bus ads that will
ness a spin and answering a question. Even if it seemed to some encourage folks to…you guessed it…Be Red Cross Ready.
of the kids that “school” was starting earlier than they thought, There are 20 billboards and 20 bus ads—see if you can find all 40!
they didn’t balk, but listened intently to the questions and tried (No, there is no prize…)
their best to come up with the right answers. Participants also
received preparedness information and entered a drawing for Weather or Not
items for their disaster supplies kits.
Starting September 1, watch for special 30-second educational
The Indiana State Fair: The Year of the Tomato…and Say It with spots featuring Meteorologist Ken Brewer on WISH-TV and
Me, Be Red Cross Ready LWS. Each week, Ken will focus on a different Be Red Cross
Ready action step: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed. Dur-
On Friday, August 27, the Red Cross and Marion County Emer- ing the last week, Ken will highlight a fourth step, Get Involved,
gency Management utilized WISH-TV’s booth in the Our Land which stresses additional preparedness efforts that can have an
Pavilion at the Indiana State Fair to engage fairgoers from across impact in your neighborhood and the community at large.
Indiana. Kids of all ages were invited to reach into the Be Red
Cross Ready Mystery Box and pull out an item. Their challenge? FOR ONE MONTH ONLY, Go Red Instead of Green
Decide if the item belonged in a disaster supplies kit. In many
Last but not least, the good folks at Marsh have once again printed
cases, the entire family got into the act, opening up a dialogue on
Red Cross emergency preparedness messages on their paper gro-
emergency preparedness and enabling volunteers to answer ques-
cery bags. The next time you shop at Marsh, please remember to
tions and provide more in-depth preparedness information. Be
forget your green mesh bag in the car so that when you are asked,
Red Cross Ready preparedness brochures and booklets were also
“Paper or plastic?” you can respond with a resounding, “Make
available for pick-up throughout the 17-day fair. Special thanks to
mine paper!”
Heather Starr and the Red Cross First Aid Team for helping us
transport our stuff! Be Red Cross Ready information can be found at during September and year-round at
Emergency Services Newsletter 2

Thank You, Barb Scott! Shelter “Call-Down” Activity
The Disaster Mental Health By Adam Ansari
Leadership Team
Emergency Services continually analyzes and
works toward developing resources, includ-
ing volunteers, communications, supplies, facili-

S ince 2000, much has been accomplished in the Disaster Men-
tal Health activity. The activity has grown from six volun-
teers to over fifty, including two managers and three supervisors.
ties, transportation, partnerships, etc. Knowing the
Chapter's ability to respond to large disasters helps
to determine strategies and actions to use for im-
Mental health has become a member of proving our readiness.
DAT and the chapter has 24/7 disaster
mental health coverage. Disaster Mental
On Thursday, August 13, 2009, the Shelter Man-
Health has been complimented by na-
agement conducted a “Call Down” exercise which
tional staff for its ability to manage local
was designed to assess how many Sheltering vol-
major disasters. unteers would be able to volunteer for a given pe-
These accomplishments are largely due riod of time within our jurisdiction.
to one person, Barb Scott. In early 2000,
Chapter staff asked Barb if she would Thanks to every Sheltering volunteer that partici-
develop the Disaster Mental Health Ac- pated in the exercise by responding to email or
tivity for the chapter. Barb’s organiza- fielding a phone call from one of our shelter man-
tional skills and warm way with people agers; without your participation it would become
made her the right person for the job. increasingly difficult to tell how we would react in
a real disaster situation.
Barb’s Red Cross career began nearly 30 years ago in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. As a staff person, she coordinated blood drives and Out of the 184 volunteers on the Shelter Team
worked in Health and Safety. With a move to Indianapolis, the Roster, 67 individuals indicated during the exer-
Greater Indianapolis Chapter employed her where she again cise that they would be able to respond to one or
worked in Health and Safety. more days of the Chapter’s disaster relief opera-
tion (roughly 37%) and 23 individuals would be
Though Barb retired from employment with Red Cross in 1999,
unable to respond (7%).
she did not stop being involved. She continued to volunteer to
teach Health and Safety classes and to work at First Aid Stations.
With her dog, Logan, she became involved in the Pet Therapy Also, out of the 184 volunteers on the Shelter
Program. She took DAT on-call, and Team Roster, 95 individuals indicated they would
national disaster deployments had her like to remain on the roster (52%), and 15 indi-
traveling to Florida, Washington DC, viduals are no longer able to participate on the
Arizona, Louisiana, northern Indiana, team (8%). 75 individuals were unable to be
and Texas. Locally she has worked at reached for a response (40%).
more disasters than can be counted.
The next Shelter Operations and Simulation class
However, it is her accomplishments as a is on September 22nd and 24th from 6-10 pm. You
mental health leader that are unique. Her can sign up online at the Indy Red Cross website.
efforts were the energy behind the suc-
cessful development of the DMH activ- Space is limited so first come first serve. The
ity. Her vision, kindness and hard work attracted other mental course is designed for national and local responses
health volunteers. Due to her leadership, the chapter has a strong and could prove to be a great refresher course for
DMH program. many of you who haven’t taken a Sheltering class
After her many years of dedication to the Disaster Mental Health for a few years. Again, thank you to all the volun-
Program, Barb has made the decision to retire. She will be re- teers who participated in the “Call Down” and we
placing DAT on-call, working national disasters, and DMH meet- hope all of you continue to volunteer for the
ings with more time for her seven children, twelve grandchildren, American Red Cross.
two great-grandchildren, and husband, Dave.

Words are not big enough to contain the thanks to Barb for all the
time and energy she has given to the disaster mental health activ-
ity. With sincerity, we hope she knows her kindness, dedication,
energy, patience, and endless giving will always be appreciated.
Emergency Services Newsletter 3

Volunteer Spotlight: Dan Crowe and Ruth Stanley
Adam Ansari

ES: What is your favorite thing to do besides volunteering?
This month’s volunteer spotlight features two of the kindest and most
compassionate people I have talked with at the Red Cross. Both work
as Mental Health Volunteers and do a brilliant job of talking and Dan and Ruth: We love to travel. We have been to Africa five times,
relating with clients. They seem to have an uncanny knack for han- Australia, New Zealand, China, and Europe several times.
dling disaster situations and the expertise that goes into them.
ES: What was your first impression of the Red Cross?
I was lucky enough to sit down with Dan Crowe and Ruth Stanley this
month to ask them a few questions. I hope Dan and Ruth: We thought it was a great organiza-
everyone is encouraged by Dan’s and Ruth’s tion. What the Red Cross does after disasters is
answers and are further encouraged in your really a great thing.
own Red Cross endeavors.
ES: What is one of your most memorable experi-
ES: How did you first get involved with the Red ences at the Red Cross?
Dan and Ruth: Probably the spring 2008 floods and
Dan and Ruth: Years ago, Dan started saying tornado that went through Central Indiana. During
that he wanted to start going out to disasters that time we worked in three or four different shel-
and helping people, and I [Ruth] decided that ters. We both also stayed overnight in the shelters,
he couldn’t do it alone so we started taking which we enjoyed because we developed really
classes together and we have been volunteering strong relationships with the people staying there.
ES: What would you tell someone who was thinking
We both started out our careers as psychiatric about volunteering with the Red Cross?
workers—Dan as a social worker and me as a
nurse. We both also worked at the department Dan and Ruth: Do It! It is one of the most rewarding
of mental health; Dan was there for 32 years things you can do in your life; actually going out and
and I was there for 24 years. meeting people is really amazing. If you can do anything to make
their life easier or make them feel less alone it really is a great thing.
Volunteering within the Mental Health field seemed like an easy You also are able to make a lot of really great new friends.
choice for the both of us.
ES: What do you find most challenging about your volunteer work?
ES: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
Dan and Ruth: There is something new every day and the energy it
Dan and Ruth: We do a lot of things with our church. Dan is a youth can sometimes take to do a good job can get a little hard.
minister and I [Ruth] perform duties as an usher. We are both also
part of the congregation’s choir. ES: If you could give one piece of advice to new volunteers, what
would it be?
I [Dan] also serve on two boards as a psychiatric social worker: Tal-
bot House and Sisters Place. Still, our favorite thing to do is volun- Dan and Ruth: Be open and willing to accept people, have patience,
teer work. We enjoy it so much and have loved meeting the people and have compassion. Everyone that you talk to has just lost some-
that we have. thing and is reacting to what has happened. It is important when peo-
ple are reacting with fear or anger that you keep a cool head and know
ES: What do you like most about volunteering? that their frustration is not directed at you.

Dan and Ruth: We like the people. Working as Mental Health Asso- ES: That is great advice. Well, thank you for coming in and I hope
ciates you spend all of your time with people and it is always impor- you both continue being important volunteers for the American Red
tant to view these individuals as people and not clients. We enjoy just Cross.
helping, talking, and finding out about each and every person we talk
to. I really enjoyed Dan’s and Ruth’s last point that just because you may
not receive a thank you, it does not mean that the clients do not ap-
ES: What benefits do you receive through volunteering? preciate what you are doing. Everyone has been through some trau-
matic event and it is important to keep that in mind when talking with
Dan and Ruth: Well, as a Mental Health Worker you deal with a lot a client.
of underserved populations and people are not always viewed posi-
tively in these populations. It is a great reward when you can give
these people some sort of advice or comfort to uplift their spirits after
something bad has happened.
Emergency Services Newsletter 4

Are You Prepared to Volunteer in a Disaster?
By Joni McVey

I f a major disaster strikes tomorrow, are you prepared to leave home
and respond? Not only is it important for you to be prepared for a
disaster relief operation, but your family should also be educated and
• Does your family have a fire extinguisher? Test
and recharge as needed.
equipped to reside in your absence. As you know, the safety and • Learn First Aid and CPR. Visit http://
health of our staff, volunteers, and clients are of utmost importance to for further information
the American Red Cross. Here are some things to consider:
on our trainings and disaster preparedness advice.

• Know how and when to shut off water, gas, and
Disaster Supplies Kit – Every family should have an easily accessi- electricity safely.
ble kit, and maybe even a smaller version in the trunk of the car.
• Determine the best escape routes from your home
• Plenty of water • Ready-to-eat foods and each room in it.
• Basic tools • First-aid kit
• Clothing/Shoes • Bedding
• Radio • Flashlight
Family Matters & Medical Needs
• Prescriptions • Pet supplies
• Family documents • Special needs items • Child care plan
• Toiletries • Entertainment!
• Batteries • Elder care plan
• Emergency plan for pets
• 30-day supply of all prescriptions
Family Disaster Plan – Meet with your family to ensure that
each member knows what to do in a disaster situation. • Transportation to appointments
• Identify the disasters we can expect here in Indi-
ana (floods, tornadoes).
Economics – ATMs aren’t reliable in disasters, so keep emer-
• Know how to respond to each type of disaster. gency cash on hand!
Education is key!

• Choose two meeting places: one close to home, Vehicle Safety – Be sure your vehicle is up-to-date on all ser-
vices and inspections.
one farther away.
Don’t forget to include a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk!
• Designate an out-of-state friend as your family’s
“check-in contact.” Be sure your family knows about the American Red Cross!
• Post emergency phone numbers near every phone • Chapter location
and in every wallet.
• Contact information
• Install smoke detectors on every level of your
• Deployment location, if applicable
home and test monthly.

ARCGI Emergency
Have a Submission for
Services Newsletter
the Newsletter?
Published by our Emergency Services
Send to Volunteer Newsletter Team
Jenny Davidson and ES Staff
Emergency Services Newsletter 5

Greetings from the FBCI Corner…
Kira Davad Foerster and Justin P. Gray

G reetings from the FBCI coordinators! August has been another exciting month in Emergency Services’ Faith Based Com-
munity Initiative, with visits to nine partner sites and organizations, and yet another mock disaster! As the second year of
VISTA FBCI leadership moves into its third month, the program’s future looks brighter, more diverse, and even better equipped
to support the community in a time of disaster.

On August 1st, the FBCI coordinators celebrated our partnership with Brandywine Community Church by presenting the Action
Team with a Certificate of Recognition for successfully completing their FBCI training. Brandywine brings 33 trained volun-
teers to the FBCI, and gives the program its first home in Hancock County. Thank you!

Mock Disaster
Plainfield Christian Church has joined the ranks of the highest level of FBCI partnership by completing its own Mock Disaster
on August 15th. “Respect” was the keyword of the day as Plainfield Action Team members treated simulated clients and guests
with competence, calm, and care. The FBCI coordinators thank Action Team leaders Robin and Ernie for their support in facili-
tating this event!

Reaching Out
On Saturday, August 22nd FBCI Coordinator Kira Foerster and volunteer Jose M. Cobian went to Englewood Christian Church
for a Hispanic Outreach Day. The event brought together twelve Hispanic churches in the Indianapolis area for food and festivi-
ties. Those who attended the event were given information on the American Red Cross and disaster relief. Many thanks to Jose
for giving his time Saturday to volunteer and translate! Simultaneously, Justin was privileged to attend Mt. Pleasant Christian
Church’s first Chin Festival. Numbering over 4000 members in the Greater Indianapolis area, the Chin community originates in
Myanmar (formerly Burma). We hope to continue to work with Mt. Pleasant to ensure that this special community is well-
prepared for the possibility of disasters in their new home country.

The FBCI coordinators have been working hard to develop meaningful outreach into the Greater Indianapolis community. We
would like to thank our friends at Grace Missionary Church, Horizon Christian Fellowship, Esperanza, and Al-Fajr Masjid for
their hospitality this month!
Emergency Services Newsletter 6

Red Cross Links and Resources
American Red Cross Blog

Learn More About Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces

Stay Up to Date on the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)—Preparing for Emergencies for People with Disabilities and Their Families

Fundamentals of Disaster Assessment Upcoming Course
Lin Lopez

T his year has been a relief for our local DA volunteers. It's a good time to recover, learn from the past, re-train and
prepare. Speaking briefly of preparation, make sure you build a kit for local work including the latest Central Indi-
ana Road Map. This is apparently the replacement for the 50-mile map, and it reaches as far out as Bloomington, Muncie,
Kokomo, and Lafayette. Make sure you mark your name on your map and keep an eye on it, because it's really handy to
have your own map if something happens. You can find them at CVS, but they'll probably turn out in other stores soon.
This doesn't replace street maps for each city, but at least you have a chance of finding your way to the city if you get de-

Special thanks to everyone who has taken the extra time to sit through the Disaster Assessment Basics courses this spring
and summer. You are qualified to support our function in local disasters.

The "Fundamentals" course, however, is required for anyone who wishes to work as a DA volunteer on a declared disaster
(an official Disaster Response, or DR) through the DSHR.

Fundamentals of Disaster Assessment is a blended course. The online portion reviews and expands upon the "Basics."
Unlike "Basics," the online course has a test at the end. It would be a good idea to sign up for the online course as soon as
possible in order to go through at a leisurely pace before taking the September 30 classroom session. Some students tear
through the online material in a couple hours, but it will be to your advantage to take your time and really study the mate-

The classroom session extends into the management of a local disaster and assisting with a national disaster. The material
is more abstract and the problems a little more fuzzy than the simple procedures we carry out as rank and file volunteers.
The class lets you get "into the heads" of the large disaster managers. It turns out larger scale disasters require greatly
simplified and summarized information in order to make decisions. The "Fundamentals" course begins to bridge the gap
between detailed assessment, where most of us "live," and the information a large disaster manager needs. The classroom
session also has a test at the end, but it's not hard.

For those who wish to supervise or manage the Disaster Assessment function, Fundamentals of Disaster Assessment is a
must-have course. It's no substitute for experience, but the experience is a little less stressful once you internalize some of
the training. See you in September!
Emergency Services Newsletter 7

Basic Food Safety


Basic Food Safety™ from FoodHandler is a basic, online For First Time Users
course designed to introduce the participants to the principles 1. Go to
of safe food handling. It is divided into four segments and uses2. Type in your Activation Code when prompted: RedCross
video, high resolution photographs, Flash animations, an ex- (this code is space & case sensitive) and click the
tensive food safety-related glossary, and remediation questions “Submit” button.
to build a comprehensive knowledge base. The program con- 3. Read the instructions under “Is this your first time here?”
cludes with a graded quiz and a personalized printable certifi- Click the “Create a new account” button.
cate of achievement. 4. Enter your DSHR # as your User ID (or create your own
if you do not have a DSHR number). Next you will need
PARTICIPANTS WILL LEARN TO to create your unique Password and then confirm your
Password. The User ID and Password that you create will
• Describe food-borne illnesses, including the type and ex- be the information that you will use to login for subse-
tent of contaminants, their causes, and how to help prevent quent training sessions.
them from occurring. 5. Enter the requested information and complete the Captcha
• Explain personal hygiene, hand washing, proper glove and then click on the "Create a new account" button.
use, and relevant health issues. 6. Click “Continue” on the next page to confirm your enroll-
• Describe time, temperature, food flow process, and the ment.
importance of maintaining proper temperatures. 7. Click the Basic Food Safety course title in either English
• Describe contamination and sanitation—proper food han- or Spanish to begin the training.
dling and preparation, how contaminants move and grow,
and key sanitation issues. For Returning Users (already registered)
1. Go to
AUDIENCE 2. Type in the Activation Code when prompted: RedCross
(this code is space and case sensitive) and click the
This course is required for all employees and volunteers of the “Submit” button.
Red Cross and other agencies who may serve or handle food 3. Enter the User ID and password that you created the first
on a disaster relief operation, including: time you entered the Basic Food Safety Training under
“Returning to this web site?”
• Emergency response vehicle crew members. 4. Click the Basic Food Safety course title in either English
• People who work in the canteens at shelters, service cen- or Spanish to review or complete the training. Questions
ters, or relief operation headquarters. during this process or technical problems with the training
• Disaster Health Services and Staff Health workers who should be emailed to
might interact with local health departments.
• Partner Services workers who might interact with partner Upon completion, participants will need to print copies of the
agencies engaged in feeding. course completion certificate and take them to the chapter’s
• Community leaders who wish to serve in or work with LMS and DSHR administrators to update training records.
This course certificate is not recognized by government health
food service activities on a disaster relief operation.