From Kevin and Sandy McCoy, Volunteers
In these journals I have written about how we work on fires, hurricanes, and other events. But I thought I would take some time and give a peek behind the scenes on getting ready. and making sure that the Red Cross is ready to respond in disasters. That takes a lot of education and preparation.
This week we helped in two ways. First, we took a course at the Austin EOC to get certified and badged so that we can work at the EOC when an event occurs. Second we helped to Inventory the National Assets stored to help out in disasters across the country.
National Inventory
Sandy and I worked on a team of volunteers that came in from all over the country to help out in doing and inventory at one of the few National Warehouses. This one happens to be in our home town of Austin, and is located close to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
The Warehouse is called the Disaster Services Maintenance Center. Here are a couple of Red Cross Workers (Randall Rieffel & Gary Thompson) in process of inventorying radios.
This entire deployable inventory is stored in Pelican Cases. These are water tight cases that can survive flood and other severe conditions. That protects the assets that are sent in harms way, and make sure it is usable for the next disaster.
We had a production line to inventory more than 2000 cell phone.  Here is Sandy managing the numbers: Gary Thompson, Randall Reiffel, and Kevin’s coffee mug on the “assembly line.”
Mobile Satellite dishes for voice and data communication are in these kits.  Gary is opening a Satellite Disk container.  This was tiring and meticulous work.  Even with fork lifts and pallet jacks, there was a lot of lifting to do.  So it was tiring and time consuming.
What Sandy and I wanted to get out of this to understand the range of national assets that could be drawn out for a disaster.  Counting these items may have been the hard way to do this, but it worked and we have a good idea of what is there (and how much!)
EOC Class
We took a break from the inventory assignment to get oriented to work in the EOC. That requires getting another background check, more fingerprints and a new ID.
All the resources – Red Cross, Salvation Army, FEMA, Law enforcement, Fire, all have seats at the table.
To use this system we have phones, Web based tool for facilitating Emergency Operations Center Communications – (Web EOC). In previous disasters we have worked out of the center to manage shelter operations, and coordinate with other groups.
That is all the news that is fit to click.
Kevin & Sandy

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