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Disaster Response

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Disaster Management 101: University students helping B.C. wildfire evacuees

Two members of the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Red Cross Club are showing other young people how to turn their passion into action. Students Jessilyn Wong and Daniel Jin volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management logistics team, arranging vehicles, supplying technology, and taking inventory of supplies that helped the Red Cross assist thousands of people forced from their homes by last summer’s B.C. wildfires. 

Proud to put on the vest and answer the call to volunteer

Hello from Halifax! Thirteen years ago, I looked into volunteering somewhere where I could help people and make a difference in my community. I decided to check out a Canadian Red Cross volunteer orientation session and after reviewing the various positions, applied to become a member of the emergency response team.

Volunteering: a way of life

For Andrew DeGruchy, volunteering is a part of his life. The 30-year-old has been a volunteer firefighter and Lieutenant with Cold Lake Fire-Rescue for eight years. When evacuees from the La Ronge, Saskatchewan area were sheltered in Cold Lake, he got a first-hand look at the work Canadian Red Cross volunteers do; and that prompted him to become part of the disaster management team.

Everyone Counts: new report on Red Cross and Red Crescent activities worldwide

Where in the world did people receive help from the Movement in 2016? A new report published by IFRC can tell you exactly where. The report gathers data from 190 National Societies worldwide, and offers insights into humanitarian and societal trends such as spontaneous volunteering; how volunteer numbers rise and then stabilize following a major disaster, and how indicators are affected by sociodemographic factors such as population size and the Human Development Index.

Walking to Kutupalong

By 9 a.m., fog has burned off and I am already looking for shade as we begin the hour-long walk through the makeshift settlement in Kutupalong. We are headed to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society mobile clinic. After many trips, we know the trail reasonably well, only occasionally needing the local volunteers to guide us through new market areas or construction sites, which seem to appear everyday along the route. We are from different worlds - Bangladesh, Myanmar and Canada - yet we chat easily about the work day to come. What was chaotic and overwhelming a few weeks ago has become familiar – it is easy to forget that this great sprawling village is one of the largest camps of displaced people in the world.

Red Cross helps Saskatchewan family affected by house fire

The day after Christmas in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan this year was chilly: -35C chilly. Carmen, Jordy, one-year old Otis and the family cat decided to enjoy a fire in their fireplace to warm up. They didn’t know that a squirrel had been hoarding pinecones in their chimney. Their living room quickly filled with smoke and soon the roof of their old home was in flames. 

Putting training to the test during a complex response in Democratic Republic of Congo

This would be a challenging response, but it was also a response that the DRC Red Cross had been trained for as part of the Capacity Strengthening for Emergency Response in Africa initiative – now it was time to put their training into action. 

Giving back feels close to home

Canadian Red Crosser Dr. Mausam Bohara shares her experience working on the ground in Bangladesh, providing care for people who are fleeing violence in Myanmar. 

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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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