Red Cross seeks additional support

The Buckhannon Rotary Club heard this week about the importance of being prepared for a disaster.

Robin Moore, the executive director of the North Central West Virginia chapter of the American Red Cross, spoke briefly Tuesday about the derecho, Superstorm Sandy and the importance of preparedness. She said the timing of her presentation was good because March is Red Cross month.

“Superstorm Sandy was a really neat, different experience,” she said, referring to disaster planning. “The good news about a hurricane is you have some time to plan, so we had days we were watching that hurricane come up the coast. We had more time to get the resources ready that we needed.”

Moore said one main resource needed by the American Red Cross is volunteers. American Red Cross volunteers receive training and can help at shelters during major events like the two major storms in 2012, or volunteers can help with single house fires or flooding.

“In this area, we really need some more people, and we really realized that during both of these larger disasters,” Moore said.

There are other ways to help in lieu of working at large shelters or helping single families. The American Red Cross offers services to the military and collects blood in various areas. The organization is always in need of blood donors.

“We need your blood, or we could use your time,” Moore said.

Monetary donations are another option.

“We are not a government agency, so we have to rely on the public and our friends in the community to help keep us going,” she said.

Community members also can help by telling the American Red Cross where good shelter locations might be. Families or individuals can be alerted to the latest risks in their area through the use of free Smart Phone applications offered by the American Red Cross. There are separate applications for hurricane, flooding, wildfires and first aid information.

In other club news, President Mike Coffman presented monetary donations for three organizations. Ken Johnson accepted a $2,000 check for the Upshur County Christmas Store. Debbie Osburn accepted a $4,500 check for Hands and Hearts. John Bohman and Rebecca Ratcliff from West Virginia Wesleyan College accepted a $900 check for Habitat for Humanity. Rotary has routinely funded these organizations for the last several years, Coffman said.

The new club officers will take their posts on July 1: Linda Feola, president; Julie Keehner, president-elect; Kathy McMurray, vice president; Kay Hurst, secretary; Lee Dixon, treasurer; Calvin Shreve and Jay Hollen, sergeants-at-arms; Virginia Dixon, Family of Rotary chair; Jody Light, Rotary Foundation chair; Rich Clemens, club service chair; Lisa Wharton, community service chair; Jamie Powell, club membership chair; Marty Kelley, international service chair; Robbie Skinner, vocational service chair; and Mike Coffman, past president.