Red Cross providing disaster assistance and education

| March 29, 2019

COSHOCTON – Since the beginning of this year, local American Red Cross disaster relief volunteers have responded to 11 fires involving 14 families.

“I did almost that many all of last year,” said Doug Caton, disaster relief volunteer lead and county supervisor. “I think we did 14 all of last year.”

When Red Cross volunteers respond to a fire, they provide the residents of the home with blankets, kits full of personal hygiene items, and funds on a prepaid card to replace clothing and for a two-night hotel stay if they do not have another housing option. Diapers can be provided to families with infants and toys are given to children.

The Red Cross, however, isn’t just on the scene of the fires. Volunteers also are doing prevention work to help prevent other disasters from occurring or being as bad.

Heather Walker, disaster relief volunteer, said you can call the Southeast Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross at 740-844-2017, tell them what county you reside in and ask for smoke alarms. Volunteers will come install them and the batteries for them that Caton said have a 10-year life span.

“We are reaching out to 4-H groups and other youth groups that need to do community service to help us out with this,” Walker said.

The Red Cross also is bringing its pillowcase program to the county, which is designed to teach children about being prepared for disasters such as fires, tornadoes and floods.

More volunteers are always welcome to help the Red Cross with its disaster relief programs. An online training, along with face-to-face instruction and a background check must be completed.

“Our workforce is 90 percent volunteers,” said Tim Callahan, disaster program manager for the Southeast Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross. “They are invaluable. They respond whenever we need them whether it’s 3 a.m., a weekend or a holiday. When we need them they are there.”

For more information, visit The local Red Cross office is located at 416 Main St. and its phone number is 740-622-0228.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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