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NEWS

Damage Assessment is First Step to Disaster Recovery
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Mary Havell and Jennifer Richmond
 
September 7, 2008

Immediately following the deluge caused by Tropical Storm Hannah, American Red Cross volunteers visited the Grove Park Apartment complex in Raleigh, NC. The storm caused substantial flooding and power outages. Going door-to-door, volunteers conducted damage assessments and evaluated the needs of residents.

American Red Cross volunteers Kelli Corkins and Charles Richardson conduct damage assessments at the Grove Park Apartment complex in Raleigh, NC.
American Red Cross volunteers Kelli Corkins and Charles Richardson conduct damage assessments at the Grove Park Apartment complex in Raleigh, NC. Tropical Storm Hanna flooded much of the surrounding property at the apartment complex.
Photo: Daniel Cima/American Red Cross.

A major part of any disaster relief and recovery effort is damage assessment, and the Red Cross has a comprehensive system to evaluate the destruction caused after all types of disasters. The information gathered ultimately helps the Red Cross determine how to best assist affected residents, and deploy services appropriately. At Grove Park the surrounding property, including the parking lot and air-conditioning units, was submerged in murky water with swarms of mosquitoes.

While conducting the assessments, Red Cross volunteers handed out snacks and provided a comforting presence to the younger Grove Park Apartment residents who gathered outside. The flooding prevented them from using their playground area which was also immersed in water.



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