Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nurses Help East Tennessee Prepare for the Next Disaster Response

By J. Suzanne Horsley/American Red Cross

As Red Cross volunteers work to clean up their areas of responsibility before they leave a disaster relief operation, they are careful to leave everything organized for the local chapter to continue its daily work. Carol Smedberg, a volunteer nurse with Red Cross health services, will be headed home to Oregon soon, but right now she’s thinking about how she can make things a little easier for the local staff and volunteers in East Tennessee.

Smedberg had just returned from a volunteer service trip to Morocco where she worked with disabled children in an orphanage when she got the call to deploy with the Red Cross to Gatlinburg. During her time here, she and other nurses have worked with disaster shelter clients, individuals at the multi-agency
resource center (MARC), and with Red Cross volunteers to help everyone stay healthy and happy.

In this photo, Smedberg is restocking the healthcare kits that go to each shelter and checking off the inventory lists to be sure everything is there when the next disaster hits. Smedberg said that a new item that was recently added to these kits was different strengths of reading glasses for those who lost their glasses in a disaster event. Thanks to her careful work, East Tennessee will be ready to open a shelter the next time it’s needed.

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