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

ial supplies were sent in, including diapers, baby formula, dolls and school supplies. Red Cross mental health and spiritual care specialists helped children deal with the loss of family members and classmates. Here is a special video showing the joint efforts of the Red Cross and Save the Children in American Samoa.

To help those with disabilities, the Red Cross can install temporary ramps and set up accessible bathroom facilities if a shelter does not meet accessibility standards. Items such as wheelchair transferable cots and commode chairs are now stockpiled to be used when needed.

Today the Red Cross has more than 5,000 licensed mental health professionals who volunteer as part of the mental health response during a disaster. All Red Cross disaster workers are trained in psychological first aid to identify stress symptoms in children and adults. And plans are in the works for a new course to train people how to increase their own resilience in a disaster.

In his testimony, Riggen made several recommendations on how to improve serving the needs of the very young, the elderly and others with additional needs after a disaster.

  • As government and local agencies plan for more permanent housing solutions, is it critical that families with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities be prioritized for assistance.
  • Children are best served if the regular routine of their day-to-day life can be restored as quickly as possible, and efforts should be made to ensure that schools can open as soon as possible.
  • Development of a National Recovery Framework should be accelerated. This important resource will help to coordinate the vast number of agencies willing to engage in recovery work and ensure the needs and differences of distinct populations are cap
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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