Disaster volunteer rises from apartment fire ashes

By Mimi Teller, American Red Cross Los Angeles Region Volunteer When the fire started to consume the two buildings next to her mother’s Panorama City home, Kenia Perez received a call to rush over. Kenia helped everyone safely get out of the home including the family pets but then watched, feeling utterly helpless, as dozens of neighbors fled their burning homes. A mother of two young girls and studying at Los Angeles Mission College to be a...

Before the Fire Starts, After the Smoke Clears

I want to tell you a story. It’s not about disasters that make headlines, like the California wildfires or Hurricane Lane. It’s about a disaster that claims lives in your community every day, but that you might never have heard of. It affects individuals and families in cities and towns across the United States and around the world. And yet in spite of all this, it gets little to no coverage. I’m talking about home fires. Home fires claims...

Answering a Disaster Home Fire Call: “We’re Dealing with Fragile Human Beings”

by Joseph Edwards, Director, California Safe Corps and Disaster Action Team Volunteer The ceiling fans had melted from the heat. The blades had wilted to mirroring an upside down flower, with the petals pitch black heading toward the floor. It was a very striking image amongst the debris remaining from a fire hours earlier. When training volunteers to be members of a Disaster Action Team (DAT) the Red Cross covers what to expect in terms of...

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