Disaster Response

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​Closing the circle - an update on Ebola from on the ground in DRC

Twenty-four years after my very first mission with the Red Cross, I am grateful to be back in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The context this time is totally different from the one that had brought me to this country for my debut in the humanitarian world. Then it was a man-made catastrophe, the genocide in Rwanda. Now, it is nature’s work. Ebola, the deadly virus that killed thousands of people in West Africa, is back for the ninth time in the DRC.

Ivory Wayne Burns wants to share his story

Recently I was invited to visit James Smith Cree Nation for their Community Health Fair where an Elder approached me and said “Hello, I have a story and I want you to write it down.”

The Packing House: road to recovery one year after B.C. fires

​The Packing House is a meeting place for the people of Spences Bridge, whether it’s to have a cup of coffee, catch up on the latest news and gossip, or chat with owner and local politician Steve Rice.
It’s also a stopping point for people on the road to elsewhere in B.C. Or, it was, until last summer when massive wildfires stopped the flow of tourist traffic through Spences Bridge.

Specialized team helps fly-in community evacuate and return home

While Red Cross volunteers are known for their resourcefulness and dedication, there’s one team that really goes a step above and beyond: the Supporting Evacuation and Repatriation Team (SERT) team.

Former refugee now provides refuge

Omar Abdullahi, a social worker who lives in Winnipeg, volunteers with the safety and wellbeing team of the Canadian Red Cross. He is working with evacuees from the northern Manitoba wildfires.
Before coming to Canada, Omar and his family were refugees from the Somalian civil war. When he was about 10 years old, his family, including his six sisters and two brothers, fled Mogadishu for the Kenyan border.

How volcanoes exploded onto the scene

A volcano is essentially a vent in the Earth’s surface. But, instead of blowing warm air and keeping your feet toasty (like a vent in your home), a volcano exhausts gases, volcanic ash and lava. Volcanoes exist because the Earth’s surface (the crust) is made of tectonic plates and it is estimated that there are 1500 active volcanoes today. 

Evacuating Pauingassi First Nation together

The residents of the Pauingassi First Nation were evacuated from their community on May 25, due to encroaching wildfires. A remote, and by all accounts, wildly beautiful community, Pauingassi is only accessible by helicopter and float plane. 

How volunteers support the emotional wellbeing of Manitobans displaced by wildfires

At first glance, it’s hard to understand what Pat Alphonse Cox does for the Canadian Red Cross. Volunteering at the Winnipeg reception centre for wildfire evacuees, Pat chats for a few minutes with a large, boisterous family from Pauingassi First Nation; corrals a small, energetic child closer to her mom; and then sits quietly with a slouching teenager. It all seems a little random, but on closer examination, Pat’s role becomes clear and her work crucial. Pat is a Safety and Wellbeing responder with the Canadian Red Cross.

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About The Blog

The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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