Red Cross to revamp before 2006 hurricane season
| 04.05.2006 | 07:17:29 | Views: 2756 | ID:
April 5 '06: National Public Radio reported Wednesday that the Red Cross is revamping its organization in preparation of the 2006 hurricane season.
"Last year, after Hurricane Katrina," NPR reported, "the Red Cross was criticized for some shortcomings in its disaster response," which included meager relief efforts in more rural areas of the Gulf Coast, poor communications systems between volunteer bases, overwhelmed call centers, food and medical supply shortages and debit cards to help with financial assistance.Last week, NPR reported, during a meeting with top Senate leaders, officials from the Red Cross submitted a readiness plan and timeline for the upcoming hurricane season. The new plans for 2006 are scheduled to be in place by July 1 and will include measures designed to expedite and improve response time and coordination. Some of the measures include better training and funding for other organizations working with the Red Cross in lower-income and minority areas as well as rural communities; expanded call centers; additional pre-positioned communications equipment in "high-risk areas"; increasing the Red Cross hotline by a third; and an increased presence of Red Cross at state emergency operations centers. In a letter obtained by NPR from Red Cross Chairwoman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter to Republican Senator Charles Grassley (Iowa), McElveen said there was no "excuse for the instances of improper conduct which impaired on our performance and response during Hurricane Katrina, and on our continued relief and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast."
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