With current projected climate changes and possible pandemic activities, the need for local sheltering is anticipated to increase in the future. Thanks to a grant from the Cherokee County Legacy Foundation, the county is now better prepared to handle that need.
"It is important for individuals who would need shelter in an emergency, to have the proper supplies to keep them and their families comfortable while staying in temporary housing," said Bob Bartling, Director of Emergency Services for the Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross.
As a part of a grant from the community foundation, cots were purchased to house in Cherokee County in case of an emergency. The purchase of these cots will increase shelter care capacity. The cots are deluxe military-style which holds persons up to 350 pounds, come with their own carrying bag, and feature an attached zipper bag so that people may secure their small personal items while they sleep.
In addition to the cots, pillows, blankets, and Comfort Kits for adults and children were purchased for distribution to victims of fire and disaster throughout the county. Comfort Kits are critical to those individuals who have lost their possessions due to fire or other type of disaster and contain personal and hygienic items.
Each year, the Siouxland Area Chapter strives not only to increase the number of people served by its programs and services, but also to improve the efficiency of the service delivery. Over the last year, the Chapter has responded to 58 single-family emergencies including 102 adults and 74 children in the 13-county area in which the Siouxland Chapter serves. By collaborating closely with local disaster planning organizations and law enforcement agencies, the Chapter is able to provide needed assistance for families affected by disasters.
Disaster Volunteers are trained in Mass Care, Emergency Center Operations, Effective Service Delivery, Serving Diverse Communities, Logistics, Supervising on a Disaster Assignment, Serving people with Disabilities, and CPR.
For more information on how you can volunteer, contact the Siouxland Area Chapter of the American Red Cross at 712-252-4081 or visit www.siouxlandredcross.org.
Volunteers helping with the delivery of cots and supplies were Steve Wendel and Maurice Evans.
Aimee Barritt, Cherokee County Emergency Services Manager, said "I am glad to have the cots and supplies readily accessible in the storage at MHI which is the county's first choice as a shelter for a disaster in the area".
In addition to the 56 military cots and supplies, there were six special needs cots delivered to Cherokee County.
Cherokee County Red Cross representative Marilyn Reitsma stated "We are thankful to the Board of the Cherokee County Legacy Foundation for choosing Cherokee County American Red Cross to receive this grant so that we could fill this need in our preparedness plan for our county".