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The First Mega-Shelter Arrangement in Oregon Created for Major Disaster Response and Recovery
Date:10/15/2007

the capacity of large evacuation facilities -- that can shelter over 2,000 -- from traditional sites like schools and churches.

In the months that followed hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, leaders from the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) and the American Red Cross worked to developed new best practice guidelines for operating mega shelters and providing emergency assistance during large scale disasters. "Hurricane Katrina taught us that when people are devastated by a major disaster, they need managers from the area's large public assembly facilities and emergency response organizations to function as a team to adequately meet their needs," said Robyn Williams, IAAM First Vice President and a MERC facility manager. "MERC's arrangement with ARC Oregon Trail Chapter helps ensure that we can mobilize the professional expertise and facility services capacity of our region's public assembly venues when major emergency response infrastructure is needed in our community."

The cooperative agreement between MERC and the ARC Oregon Trail Chapter creates provisions and conditions to ensure that both agencies work effectively before, during and after disaster events where human suffering and human needs cannot be alleviated without assistance. The core focus of the agreement provides for collaboration and services that will ensure effective use of the public venues in a disaster situation. MERC has agreed to provide the following assistance to the American Red Cross during disaster relief efforts:

-- Use of its kitchen facilities and staff for meal preparation

-- Assistance with mobile or fixed feeding operations

-- Use of indoor space for disaster relief facilities

-- Use of parking areas for disaster relief

-- Personnel for disaster relief efforts

The agreement also provides for emergency preparedness exercises and other planning activities and calls for maintaining close interaction and liaison b
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SOURCE Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission; AmericanRed Cross
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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