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Debbie James – A Red Cross Volunteer Making a Difference

The James family were one of many households in Ottawa impacted by the Great Ice Storm of 1998.  They managed through the many chilly nights without power but realized they could have been more prepared. Debbie made the decision, when the time was right, to join the Canadian Red Cross. When learning how to be better prepared for disasters, she also trained to be a responder to help others. 
On September 21, 2018, when tornadoes tore through the Ottawa/Gatineau region, Debbie had volunteered with the Red Cross for 13 years. In that time, she had responded to over 100 individual emergencies and supported Canadians impacted by  large-scale disasters like the Alberta Floods and Fort McMurray Fires. 
 

Recovering from the tornado, with help from Red Cross

Shawn Gervais and his family received two alerts on their cell phones before the tornado hit – one warned them of high winds, the next one told them to take shelter immediately. Now the family is recovering from the disaster, with help from the Canadian Red Cross. 

What does it take to be ready for a tornado?

In Canada, tornadoes can happen in southern Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, the interior of British Columbia and western New Brunswick.
So, what should you do to be ready for a tornado?

Hope and help from someone who has been there

Disaster is not new to Nancy Hollman. Imagine a stormy, grey, summer afternoon. On her bed with her two and a half year old son, Hollman was suddenly thrown to the floor and covered in debris. It was July 31, 1987. A tornado had just demolished her Edmonton home. 27 people died, but Nancy and her child survived to be rescued from the rubble. Almost 30 years later, Nancy is now working with the Canadian Red Cross, meeting with people who lost their homes just three months ago, in the Alberta wildfires. 

Myths vs. facts: tornado safety

Last summer, we had a few tornado scares in Southern Alberta. Working at the Red Cross, I felt as though I was prepared to stay safe. However, I learned that there are actually a lot of myths around tornado safety. Learn more about some of the most common ones. 

Climate change: Emergencies and disasters in Canada

A changing climate causes an increase in volatile conditions that play a part in severe weather and natural disasters. Serious winter storms, heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, and flooding are some of the adverse weather and disasters we’ve seen in Canada – climate change can increase the likelihood of these, and in some cases, increase the severity as well.
 

Round-up: Updates from the United Kingdom and the United States

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

Your summer safety guide

It’s summertime! While we all race outdoors to enjoy everything warm weather brings, it’s good to be prepared to safely enjoy summer activities.  Whether you’re enjoying swimming, boating, sports, hikes, or beaches, stock up on Canadian Red Cross tips and resources to stay safe.

Canadian Red Cross News

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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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