Abby Cameron of the American Red Cross explained the significance of assessment to Red Cross disaster relief: “Damage assessment includes determining where the disaster occurred, where services are needed, and what services are needed. These teams help us determine everything from where to open a shelter to where our mobile feeding operations are needed most.”
The Triangle Region identified and coordinated with several at-risk neighborhoods across the region, where the disaster scenario played out. Volunteer teams of 4 to 5 volunteers canvassed these neighborhoods for pre-placed damage photos, and assessed the ‘damage’ for each home.
The exercise began at 9:00am with a disaster briefing for Red Cross and partner volunteers – Five Civil Air Patrol volunteers were part of the exercise. The teams dispatched to the partnered community after 10:00am, and returned for a debriefing, and a lunch of Jersey Mike’s sandwiches just after noon.
Exercises like this one are crucial to the readiness and resilience of our local communities when a disaster strikes. The Red Cross relief operation relies on disaster assessment teams to tell us where, when and how bad a disaster is, so that we can put the necessary services in the right places.