Wilmington Red Cross Worker Heads to Canada

On Saturday, September 21, Regional Response Manager for the Eastern NC Region of the American Red Cross, Victoria Kling, will travel to Alberta, Canada where she will be part of a team responsible for initiating the relief and recovery evaluation process from the Alberta Flood Response. This is a collaborative effort and Kling joins fellow staff and volunteers from both the American and Canadian Red Cross societies.

Victoria Kling, Regional Response Manager

Victoria Kling, Regional Response Manager

“My focus will be working with key government agency partners, several tribal nations, and some community partners to conduct feedback interviews discussing the successes and challenges of the operation, and lessons learned for future planning,” said Kling. “It’s important to engage feedback from all constituent groups involved in a response.   A disaster response is a collaborative effort, and we look to strengthen and continue to build resilient communities with partners, agencies and community groups.  My role here is one part of a larger process.”  After Action Reviews, an important and valuable component of any Red Cross disaster response, will also be taking place.  The Red Cross looks at what can be learned and how things can be improved in the future.

Heavy rainfall earlier this summer caused the worst floods on record in southern Alberta that prompted the evacuation of 90,000 people in Calgary, High River, Medicine Hat and Drumheller.   A state of emergency was declared in twenty-seven states throughout the province.

The flooding caused major transportation and telecommunication infrastructure damage, power outages and water contamination. The Canadian Red Cross sought support from the American Red Cross who deployed 14 trained disaster volunteers to assist in the ongoing response.  The Red Cross opened evacuation shelters and distributed a number of relief supplies throughout the area.

The American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross have a long history of mutual disaster response support and coordination. The American Red Cross has a roster of disaster volunteers on standby, available to deploy in support of both national and international responses.

This will be Kling’s first international deployment although she’s no stranger to large disaster relief operations.  She has been with the Red Cross since 2004 and has assisted on a number of national responses including, Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Katrina, Irene and Superstorm Sandy as well as numerous local responses to home fires, flooding and other disasters.  Kling also supports international tracing cases, a service provided to locals trying to reunite with loved ones throughout the world.

For more information on becoming a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org or contact the Cape Fear Chapter at 910-762-2683 x327.


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