American Red Cross prepares for disaster - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

American Red Cross prepares for disaster

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January 27, 2004

Albany - They are there when disaster strikes. You've probably seen American Red Cross volunteers feeding and sheltering survivors, helping them get back on their feet again. But, there's a lot of behind the scenes you never see.

When disaster hits hard, caring people with red crosses stamped on their vest come to the rescue. Husband and wife team, Johnny and Libby Crump, have seen a lot of nationwide disasters. Mr. Crump says, "About 23, so far."

Mrs. Crump wanted to learn CPR after her husband had a heart attack. She laughs, "I hadn't had to use it yet." She has had used other training, the CPR classes turned them into a disaster team. Mrs. Crump says, "We coordinate together and work well together."

On Tuesday, the couple worked with other volunteers on a make belief disaster. Nationals came in with a scenario, a tornado has hit and 50 homes are damaged. The administrator tells the team, "That's what my on scene person has found out."

These are the men and women behind the scenes. With the use of sticky notes, volunteers and supplies are moved around. National Chapter Solutions Manager, Valerie Tallman, says, "We move them where we are going to assign them so they can do their job."

They make sure every angle is covered, from shelter to fundraising. These volunteers wear the red cross proudly. Mrs. Crump smiles, "It's awesome."

In 1949, Mr. Crump was stationed in Japan. The American Red Cross paid for his trip back to Georgia to visit his dying father. He explains, "They never asked for a re-payment, so I said this would be an opportunity to pay that back."

The American Red Cross is always looking for people like the Crump couple.

The Albany disaster team will be graded by nationals.

posted at 5:15PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com