The American Red Cross has shipped 1,500 Jumpstart to Recovery kits from Reno, NV to the tsunami affected area of the American Samoa. This means soon, residents will get much needed support and supplies to begin the recovery process. The kit has items to help disaster victims with their short-term, immediate requirements, as well as aid for the long term. Each kit contains two blankets, a combination hand-crank radio, flashlight and cell phone charger, a mesh laundry bag, a first aid kit, note pad and pen, work gloves, face masks and a bath-in-a-bag all in one convenient, durable Red Cross backpack.
This is the first time such a resource has been distributed by the Red Cross. From prior disasters, the Red Cross has learned that getting tangible items into the hands of disaster victims soon after a disaster is widely appreciated and quickly gets people on the road to recovery.
“The one thing that all disasters have in common is that they create tremendous needs for those affected,” said Court Ogilvie, Senior Director, Disaster Services. “The kits have items for comfort, wellness and communication – things you need immediately after a disaster.”
Research conducted by the American Red Cross in April 2009 with prior disaster victims shed some light on what disaster victims needed in the wake of devastation. They said their critical needs were clear information about the disaster situation and available relief and recovery resources. The Jumpstart to Recovery kit also provides a disaster victim with useful information including a Picking Up the Pieces booklet which describes the the recovery process and a Helping Children Cope With Disasters brochure to assist even the youngest disaster victims in the healing process.
There are currently more than 70 American Red Cross volunteers on the ground, ready to distribute the kits so that the American Samoans can begin repairing their lives after the devastating tsunami.