Written by: Melanie Benson, volunteer
As a new blogger for the Red Cross, I have shared information from our local Red Cross about preparedness for a variety of events and threats. When you peruse the posts, you will find Red Cross tips and services for seasonal and weather safety, home fire safety and how we can best care for our pets, all alongside stories from our valuable volunteers who make these programs possible. However, regardless of how prepared we make ourselves, accidents and emergencies still occur.
Earlier this year, a fighter jet crashed due to mechanical issues minutes after taking off from Joint Base Andrews. Fortunately, both the pilot and the residents of the impacted neighborhood nearby remained safe. The event caused more than 20 homes to temporarily evacuate and shut down traffic and access to the surrounding area. While emergency responders from the local police, fire department and military base took action to ensure the community’s safety from potential threats from the wreckage and concerns about power lines, the Red Cross Disaster Response team from Prince George’s and Montgomery counties arrived on site.
Candice Covin, a Disaster Program Manager with the Red Cross, was on her way to the chapter office when she received the call for assistance. Within 90 minutes, Candice had assembled her team of eight responders for what would result to be a ten-hour operation. The Red Cross offered support to the emergency responders by setting up a canteen to ensure that food and beverages were available during the long shifts.
During our interview, Candice, who formerly served in the Armed Forces herself, remarked what a unique experience it was to support the military in this capacity. The neighborhood, especially the children, took note of the Red Cross presence on the scene as well. This provided the opportunity for Candice and her team to offer further outreach about the Red Cross’ programs and efforts, not only in these emergency situations, but also in providing information and education in other areas of safety and preparedness.
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Learn more about how the Red Cross provides Disaster Relief Services.