Friday, August 19, 2016

My Red Cross Disaster Story: Glenda Williams-Blackmon

Written by: Emily Goff, volunteer

On March 2, 2016 tragedy struck Glenda Williams-Blackmon's world when a house fire destroyed her home. Fortunately, Glenda along with her four family members and three dogs managed to flee from the toxic smoke and orange flames without so much as a scratch. Unfortunately, all of their possessions, from family heirlooms to toothbrushes, were
devastatingly lost. Imagine the bed you make every morning, the box of birthday cards you've been collecting over the years, and everything else gone forever.

The Red Cross was, in many regards, Glenda's saving grace. She contacted the organization shortly after the disaster in hopes of receiving support and ultimately bringing back a sense of stability in her family’s life. With the utmost gratitude in her voice, Glenda explains how these hopes came true. "The Red Cross gave me money, clothes and personal hygiene items. My family and I got to stay in a hotel, too, because of the organization." The Disaster Action Team of volunteers who helped Glenda in her time of need showed ample tenderness, according to Glenda. "They helped me out. They were extremely kind and friendly. I had no trouble working with them." Such comfort and caring is exactly what the Red Cross provides when it responds to a disaster every eight minutes.

Since the fire, Glenda has been focused on rebuilding her life and is still grateful to the local Red Cross volunteers for transporting her from a state of despair to a state of hope, courage and strength. She is also encouraging others to learn more about fire safety and prevention. "Make sure that you turn off your ovens and that your fire extinguishers work." These simple pieces of advice could be what spares you from such a common catastrophe.

The Red Cross is always promoting preparedness -- and in September especially! September is Preparedness Month, so start researching ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and you will gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have the skills to handle an emergency.

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