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Red Cross Strives to Help Disaster's Vulnerable Population
Date:10/20/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives Committee, the American Red Cross offered recommendations on ways to better meet the needs of every community member affected by disaster, especially those with special requirements.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

Trevor Riggen, Red Cross senior director of disaster services testified Tuesday as to how the Red Cross is meeting the needs of the very young, the elderly, and those with disabilities. While there is no "one size fits all" answer, the Red Cross has put in place plans to help this most vulnerable population.

"Our nation continues to make improvements in our ability to respond to and recover from disasters," Riggen said. "As a nation, we are better prepared for disasters than at any time in our history."

During a disaster, children may feel ill at ease in a shelter. Their daily routine is disrupted. The Red Cross has special help for children during this traumatic time, such as special areas for families to sleep, and space in the shelter for family interaction and child care.

Partner organizations also lend a hand in caring for children after a disaster. Save the Children and Church of the Brethren Children's Disaster Services have agreements with the Red Cross to assist children in shelters. The Red Cross sets up the shelter, Save the Children sets up special safe spaces for kids and provides art materials, books, games and toys, and Church of the Brethren provides workers to run supervised activities for the children.

For example, during the ongoing relief effort in American Samoa, the Red Cross and Save the Children worked together to set up a play area in the convention center where families lined up to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. Spec
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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