Throughout this past year as an AmeriCorps member on the Disaster Cycle Services team, Madeline Clark has worked both in Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness. Madeline’s role as an AmeriCorps member also included working in Youth Education and Community Education Programs. This involves traveling to schools across the region to talk to children about Emergency Preparedness, covering important topics like fire safety and emergency kits.
She responds to Disaster Action Team (DAT) calls following home fires, floods and disasters. When she is on-call and an emergency occurs, she meets with impacted families, helping them gain access to shelter, personal care items, food, and other critical supplies.
When Hurricane Ian hit, Madeline was given the opportunity to use her emergency management skills and her AmeriCorps experience to help impacted residents in Florida. She deployed for two weeks shortly after Ian made landfall, working 12-hour overnight shifts as a Shelter Supervisor for a shelter housing approximately 225 people.
“When you’re working overnight as a shelter supervisor, you can be doing anything from getting a count of the residents at the shelter to helping people with specific needs or requests that they have.” She said. “It’s a lot of coordination as well as mental health and disaster health services, making sure the shelter is safe for people to live in and that their needs are being met.”
Madeline may have just finished her one-year term as an AmeriCorps Member, but her time with the American Red Cross is far from over. She recently joined the Eastern New York region’s staff as the Disaster Program Manager for Territory 4, which covers Lewis, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex Counties.
Madeline said that her deployment to Florida made her incredibly thankful for what she has, as well as the resources that are at her fingertips. “You realize how important it is for us to care about each other,” Madeline said. “I was so thankful for the experience that I could just go and help people. That’s it.”
YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/eny, call 800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Written by Communications Volunteer Camilla Hren
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