Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Remembering Superstorm Sandy | Lessons from a Disaster Deployment

"Styrofoam Lady"

By Chuck and Marge Pulfrey, Disaster Action Team (DAT) Volunteers

When it became necessary to switch from serving meals from cambros to serving meals out of Styrofoam cases, a great opportunity for the Red Cross to support recycling and to further serve our clients became apparent. One such client spied an early Styrofoam case and asked what we did with them after they were used. We told her that they had to be discarded due to the effort and expense involved in getting them sanitized and she told us about her best friend, a veterinarian actively engaged in capturing, neutering, and releasing feral cats. Those cats that can be socialized are placed in adoption. The anti-social cats are returned to the wild along with a shelter made out of... Styrofoam boxes. The emergency response vehicle (ERV) drivers were immediately on board with this win/win approach and by the time we ended our deployment, enough used Styrofoam cases were provided to our client and the vet for them to host a 60-person class in making these recycled cat shelters. 

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