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Red Cross prepares for emergency

Tuesday, January 14, 2014   by: Staff

The gymnasium at Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School looked less like a basketball court on Saturday and more like an emergency shelter.

The Sault Ste. Marie and District branch of the Canadian Red Cross were on-hand to to test their shelter set-up skills in case of an emergency.

A mock scenario was created involving a train derailment in which 200 Sault Ste. Marie residents were forced to evacuate their homes and seek shelter.

Although no real emergency existed, the training is timely considering the recent ice storms and power outages in Southern Ontario and the train derailment last summer in Lac Mégantic, Quebec.

According to Red Cross spokesperson Beverly McCoy (shown above), "There are all kinds of things that happen out there these days and we definitely need to be prepared for that. That's our job as Red Cross volunteers and disaster management volunteers, is to practice our skills so if that happens we are ready".

Twenty-one local volunteers participated in the exercise, setting up cots in the school gymnasium, as well as tables and signage for the support staff. 

"It takes a lot of volunteers," says McCoy "we have good training and anybody who is out there that would like to join us, we are more than happy to have them come in". 

The Red Cross Northern Raffle fundraiser continues in Sault Ste. Marie, with various tickets locations around the city  as well as at their office at 105 Allard Street.  

The Red Cross also has a local calendar for 2014, showing volunteers in action that is also available at the Allard Street office

Proceeds from these projects help fund their programs and services, such as the Disaster Management Team.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
SharingNeedles 1/14/2014 6:29:28 PM Report

And what protection will this give us from Zombies ?
HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/14/2014 7:24:00 PM Report

If I was a zombie (which of course I am) at feeding time (which of course is always), this Red Cross shelter would be (is) the top target for me after McDee's and Tim's.

Phaedrus 1/14/2014 7:28:24 PM Report

While it's comforting to know these services exist, I certainly hope this wasn't a demonstration of our capacity as a community to deal with a crisis.

Housing just 1% of our population during an emergency would require 700 beds. The 200 beds shown in this story don't exactly inspire confidence in our preparedness for a serious ice storm, or similar situation.
abba 1/14/2014 7:52:32 PM Report

Ice storm.......... during a period of "Global Warming" ??????
HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/14/2014 8:32:18 PM Report

abba, you not get the memo? To deal with this extended period of non-warming (ie. cooling) 'Global Warming' has been re branded as 'Climate Change'.

So, to clarify, anytime the climate changes you know such observances are due to anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide and nothing else.

It couldn't possibly be any other way.
Phaedrus 1/14/2014 9:13:57 PM Report

Just some info for the meteorological savants among us - global warming will actually put us at increased risk of ice storms in this region.

In case you haven't noticed, ice storms occur when the temperature hovers right at the freezing mark.
Zing 1/14/2014 9:19:20 PM Report

You never know when the Red Cross may save your life.
old-cat33 1/14/2014 10:02:50 PM Report

I seen the Red Cross in action and man these people are TOP NOTCH in their work!
jojo12345 1/14/2014 11:49:42 PM Report

lol laughing at those one who believe in that zombie stuff...zombie will be a joke to human...when the end time arrive...will have more to come and worsted than zombie
Sam C 1/15/2014 7:19:34 AM Report

Phaedrus... the exercise was very specific -- a train derailment prompts the evacuation of 200 residents.

To put that into "real world" terms, a train coming into the Sault from Sudbury derails somewhere along Trunk Road. Depending on the hazardous products on board, evacuation would be ordered in an 800-1000 metre radius.

As well, it was a test of the Red Cross's ability to set-up an evacuation centre.

This is a very realistic scenario, and adequately highlights the Red Cross's very important role in the overall preparedness of the community.
Phaedrus 1/15/2014 8:14:32 AM Report

It was not a question of whether or not the scenario was realistic, or whether or not the Red Cross did it well. Rather, the point I made had to do with capacity.

The Sootoday story doesn't touch upon what the Sault's emergency capabilities are, which is an important point to cover in a story like this, one would think.

So, the question remains: how many people can be assisted in a real world situation in the Sault? Does anyone even know?

HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/15/2014 8:22:21 AM Report

jojo, you don't think we believe in zombies just because we joke about them, do you?

For the record, when I say zombies I basically mean the large segment of society that couldn't possibly take care of themselves for a week, or several, without grid power and empty shelves at the grocery store.

You seem to be enlightened regarding what is to come, so please, enlighten me as well!

Sam, any idea why there seem to have been more train derailments in the last year than in the preceding decade or has it always been this 'normal' of an occurrence I am just not noticing?
Helping Hands SSM 1/15/2014 8:53:38 AM Report

All of them would be housed. This is 1 site There are many sites if needed
HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/15/2014 9:00:53 AM Report

HelpingHands...what are you referencing when you say that?

Is there someplace I can look up to see the various sites and their capacities?

There has to be a limit, no?
Wobbler 1/15/2014 9:38:35 AM Report

The Canadian Red Cross is now known as Red Cross Care Partners (RCCP). The Canadian Red Cross merged with the U.S. based Care Partners in the fall of 2012. From what I understand, they still provide homecare that is paid through our healthcare services, but they are now also a "for profit" company. Just what we need here ............a U.S. led company that will try to "Americanize" our health care system!!
HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/15/2014 9:50:55 AM Report

I figured you were bs-ing, Wobbler!

"Home care in Ontario was opened to 'competitive bidding' over the last number of years with disastrous consequences. There are now more than 1,000 agencies delivering home care services in the province, and there are four levels of administration before any funds actually get into the hands of the front line Personal Support Worker (PSW).

A unionized Red Cross PSW receives maximum pay of $15.02/hr, but only after 3 years on the job while a non-union PSW gets paid between $12.25 and $13.50/hr. PSWs working in a nursing home get paid an average of just over $20/hr yet they all must have the same level of education."

LOL max pay of $15 an hour w zero expenses paid?!? Why doesn't gov't cut out the for profit middle man (Red Cross and whoever else) and hire these workers direct at a reasonable wage?
Helping Hands SSM 1/15/2014 9:57:40 AM Report

Logic call the local office.....I have yet to see anyone turned away in need of Red cross assistance and I have been to disasters a lot bigger than any that could befall the sault.....The Philipines for example where 1700 shelters went up to house flood evacuees
highway1 1/15/2014 11:10:00 AM Report

"So, the question remains: how many people can be assisted in a real world situation in the Sault? Does anyone even know?"

Do some research and report back to us, then we'll all know.
Helping Hands SSM 1/15/2014 11:28:48 AM Report

YOU do the research if YOU are the 1 who needs answers. Call your cities EMO and find out what your emergency plan is. Given that you have flooded 3 times since June it is YOUR responsibility to prepare....then you will know what to do when and if the time comes. I assure you I am quite prepared!!
Helping Hands SSM 1/15/2014 11:32:13 AM Report
Helping Hands SSM 1/15/2014 11:40:03 AM Report

AS many as need to be assisted up to a max of 75, 441....that was 2 years ago im sure the number is lower in 2014 and that assumes the entire city is affected, in which case no one from the Sault would be responding anyway. Back to work ;D
Phaedrus 1/15/2014 8:47:02 PM Report

Perhaps we can simplify things: the Red Cross put out emergency cots for this response exercise - does anyone know how many cots they have in total?

Was the 200 depicted in the story their total inventory? If not, how many do they have?

Surely, someone must know the answer to this basic question.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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