Whenever one reads a newspaper or watches a news story about devastating events, the only constant seems to be the response by the American Red Cross and its volunteers.
While the Sandys, Isaacs, Katrinas, Hugos and Inikis may grab the headlines, there are a spate of smaller disasters that the Red Cross deals with on a daily basis that impact us here on Maui. House and brush fires, flash flooding, police standoffs and the like regularly send Red Cross volunteers into action.
A proclamation signed by Mayor Alan Arakawa designating March American Red Cross month here details some of the local activities last year:
* Responded to 16 disasters, helping 72 family members rebuild their lives after tragedy struck.
* Opened a shelter due to a civil disturbance, sheltering 43 individuals who needed to evacuate or were unable to return to their residences, and served 111 meals to emergency responders and those affected by disasters.
* Provided 227 certificates in free disaster response training and reached 2,707 individuals with disaster preparedness information.
* Taught critical lifesaving skills like first aid, CPR and aquatics to 1,278 individuals in Maui County.
The fact is the Red Cross is always there when it is needed. March is the month when you can help it be prepared for the next disaster. Please visit the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter website and make a donation. The Web address is: www.redcross.org/hi/honolulu
The Hawaii Red Cross is also conducting an online auction through Saturday - you can see the details and participate by visiting the Web address above.
Do your part to make sure the Red Cross is there when disaster strikes.
(Disclosure: Publisher Joe Bradley is chairman of the Maui County advisory board of the American Red Cross, Hawaii Chapter.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.