May 28, 2017|
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Hello everyone welcome to united way live united I am Jerry Westerfield and joining media day I have friends in for the American Red Cross south Louisiana chapter welcomed the program great rogues who is the communications and marketing manager for a Louisiana region on how are you I'm Jamal thank you for having us I'm glad you came in and lots of yesterday this is exciting also welcomed the program Robert Harris now he is the regional program director for services to the armed forces welcome Robert thank you very much for having us and we have two very importantly because they are volunteers and what are we doing nonprofit work volunteers or keep it ought to welcome to program. And teach out but -- and our other hats and I just thank you all for taking time pretty busy schedule to be your day it's important week unlike our listeners know that you're not a way of southeast Louisiana has a blueprint for prosperity we want to eradicate poverty in our region were strategically investing in programs and initiatives collaboration is an advocacy efforts to meet our communities Greece needs we have a bold vision of equitable communities are all individuals are healthy educated and economically stable and -- in Jefferson Orleans Plotkin and Saint Bernard saint Tammany tend to Tahoe and Washington parishes that is our service area and a lot of folks that sometimes all it takes is just one emergency one harsh storm and I found it could be thrust into poverty we can't predict what mother nature can do that we know we can prepare and yes you're all here because it's that time of year again hurricane season and I don't know about all you that. From June 1 through November 30. Residents are preparing I'm preparing. And I had that little knot in my stomach that starts to grow. That you knew what he can help put out and that's if you're prepared. And the group on this and disaster preparedness and a great you can weigh in to about how we get ready for hurricane season it's one of the things that. You can do. During blue skies this Reno and good weather. Is he can make a disaster kit it's important to do that. I'm to include everything that you might need for yourself and for your family in need to have a gallon of water per person per day I'm usually a three day supply for each person is good you need to have your important documents such as -- insurance papers for your house see your cursor to tickets passports any emergency contact information that you might wanna have you need to have copies of that in your kid as well as possibly loading them on a thumb drive and taking that along I'm you need to have if you have a dietary restrictions or needs he need to put some food in there that might help you have something to eat for a few days and pet supplies those are always good to have and this time of year it's important if you already have a kit that you fill in the past check pet food and water to make sure that it hasn't expired. Our batteries are still and a battery system that absolutely and that your paperwork is up to date. Those are really good things that you can do now to prepare for disasters in the future and it used the term blue skies and it is and I think unfortunately. That's all of the problems like people wait until the last minute how can we encourage them. Two to take charge of their own situations right now right you know. And frustrating here in Louisiana. We don't always know the disasters are coming you know we don't know that we're gonna have a hundred year flood in baton measure that the tornadoes can hit in New Orleans ceased. And so it's important for us to be prepared and have those supplies. I'm altogether readily on hand I put minor Rubbermaid containers so that if a disaster strikes I could just pick up my container and have everything I need right there with us. And if you wait until the disaster hits your house gets hit by a tornado all of those items may be in a scattered around the neighborhood and then you don't have. I'm them available to contact your insurance agency Europe find your birth certificates and things like that so it's important to plan ahead. And that way you know where everything is when a disaster cars. And Greg this big hit a question for you or others please weigh in but because right crosses it makes you sure everywhere constitutionally. You're obligated to do so I was in facilities and because of the work you do and yet there's no reparation for ourselves. Again you have a young his job to do. It's amazing to see all the people that when there is an emergency at large scale is Louisiana how all of you come together from across the state. But also from. Outside the states how. And Osama. That's when an incredible things about the Red Cross this that if bomb and has he senator is saying. Disaster banners not only is our volunteers our donors not only aren't they mobilizing a battery should you. Assists are local community but our volunteers from all over the state commandment. Two. When the heat rises like I know and kind of that central states right now others that extreme flooding they are getting volunteers from all over the country coming hand. Com or calling the moms were bringing them down there we actually have several from our own state they're supporting their shelters. Some of our on our part we supported their shelters and some of our our operations during that time so. That's the incredible thing about being. Being able to rely on the national organization to you to come together and to help out. Different communities around the country and beyond when they need arises. And how well did he does surprise me what again brook Hart from beginning hurricane season here. Don't do it bring you into the conversation because and you work with volunteers. How do you prepare to be a volunteer for disaster. I only have online courses and they and we have classroom courses we published shows. On aim monthly basis. An and only give them opportunities is one hill. In the office doing different things sometimes he can. On student parent to volunteer with us going through the scenarios are working with on some cases. Can help you understand what we do why we do it. And that's important it but. Your chapter you mean there's it's a certain amount of safeguarding the shore that people properly trained before they go yes yes we on. First if John application. We do background checks on one and they only start with the basic classes. And then we offer the other classes a lot of these people don't know what we do in Red Cross letting own just one activity and we do. We want them to check out all the activities so they can feel like. They're hitting the perfect place at the. They feel like you. Gingerly onto it that's a natural segue because you do so much more. What did come back and talk a little bit more about hurricane season preparedness definitely demon when you talk a bit more bit. Craig Robert Cochran forget you over there you've got so many other programs. Robert before I start talking about our our men and women in all enforces it looked like raisins were talking a little bit unfortunate disaster are. Fires. I you to try to. Red Cross here in Louisiana is busy zero round not just during hurricane season. That's correct and Obama. And while most people do you think of the Red Cross is setting up shelters are responding to you large scale disasters. Home buyers of the number one disaster that we respondents view on your round. And with Dan very aggressive particularly in the southeast Louisiana area. Trying chew you educate people how they can. They can prepare themselves in the event of a home fire and when he fourteen our national. Chapter started something called the home fire campaign with the goal of producing. Home fire deaths by 25%. Over five year period and I am very proud to share that here in Louisiana since then we have saved eleven lives says a result of this campaign. On here in Louisiana on earlier this year we actually getting fired canvassing in central city it was one of the largest we've done in the state we visited Tom. Brenda thousand homes that there. And what we do immediate he's canvassing events we all mom and again our team's good door to door. We meet with families we'll check their smoke alarms if there's smoke alarm isn't working or needs new batteries. We'll either give them McCain you smoke alarm or roll replace the batteries though. They're existing smoke alarm can continue to work and another thing we do this we call the families craft a home fire escape plan so. Most people don't realize that there's a fire in Italy it takes us and human that's for carbon monoxide to really get to your system man to Soria and you say you need to get out under Jim Nantz. Is to protect because I I know it's going to be scary. Had just happened to a friend so many of our homes especially your talking inside the city of Norman's. Older section I was once told we have three kinds of housing ancient really old and old nobody ever they're multi level. And so many homes whether for a static or unfortunately for the half bars. And that can be really dangerous to during the five. What an what the plan and the purpose of the plane as it is for families to mobilize in one location in the house and and you know all of their exits and find the nearest exit. And like you mentioned. You know. Issues specific to New Orleans homes because. Many of the homes especially in areas or where impact of Hurricane Katrina. There's smoke want to smoke alarm generally has about a ten year lifespan so many people have hit that marker coming up on it forget about it exactly. Mom won one thing I didn't want to mention as some. We here in New Orleans this means possible three to we partner with and Marlins fire department view. It's really integral to this programming even through the state all of these are programs. We partner with local fire department so this is Som. It's not always and in the Red Cross does but it's something that we're doing with our local agencies to kind of major disservice possible mom also end. May we get a larger region and the holly grove area and this is something that any need beetle a touchdown by Tom we do in an education or we don't just do this for. Families but we also have program that touches on children. And that is important to children need to learn everything as soon as they can't. Yes we have a program called the luckiest. I yes and don't stop and say thank you K Wilkens yes yeah. Yes she discovered it telling students that's what they did was put everything pillow cases. And evacuated and she took it further and hand on we started out late June 3 to hit great. Going to the schools and now in our program we talked to him and he used to be we give them pillowcase going but the things he needs to take yours say what you think. And had a broad well on Disney was sweet enough that they. Decided to give us until cases within on as we talk about that Manley also talk about the children taking these home. Explain to your parents why this is important. And this is not really fired this is for. He'll evacuating their ten thing because you can't fill the pillow case in two minutes we know it's got to be our deep breath or do you put your. What I do is got an idea it's it's. Haven't yet hurricane preparedness kit ready to go there so we started it here and now is gone world wide holes so it's we see in many other countries he has gone around to trust the Australians around the paces. And he is just to. Booming all over everywhere and I guess we should it great we have to explain for those who were listening in don't you explain that please tell us about it look at quickly. So K was. Again it's amazing she the issue came up with this idea pioneered this program we on. Actually do is sponsored by Disney on and it's just gotten tremendous tremendous exposure. And forget how long it's been around but it's it's been around for awhile. No she started after Katrina and readiness to. Is used to Gerri because she saw the killing students just. Thrown at them in a pillowcase and going out this started and it's it's grown from there is truly amazing I do it again. We heard from Robert and I would you feel left out. Quiet secret patiently on a game because we're to come back we'll talk more about fires and disaster Putin's two but. You do a lot of work I think is very interesting. Services are armed forces are men and women. And restore my children to I would imagine there's special things going on for families as well. I had definitely actually sources armed forces was American Red Cross first mission color aren't actually created. Back during the civil war. We created battlefield nurses that actually helped wounded veterans and we actually have to charters from a congress that actually tell us that we have to you. Again like you said without actually getting funding from anywhere that we York told it. Number one that we have to be the official communication method between the civilian population and any deployed military service members. So we talked for a cross messages in any time there's a definite scrambling or injury of service member or. Even a birth of the child. We are the ones that actually make that communication 24 hours day seven days a week three or 65 days a year. And we are actually the ones that can help make service members feel comforted because they're deployed and they know that if along as a Red Cross isn't calling. That everything is okay. I'm actually at first sergeant in the united states army national parks don't currently you know my last combat rotation I need as long as I didn't get that call. Everything was fine I've actually been a recipient to Red Cross messages in my career. Both were deaths in the family. And the Red Cross helped facilitate getting home on one of them back when I was eighteen years old and the second one I was a combat rotation couldn't come home. So but Italy Sunday that the information was there I knew my family was doing I knew that instantly. Whenever something happens that they were going to be there for me to take care of that. One the other things we do is that we're actually in charge and have been chartered. To be a to always be their first sick and wounded veterans and service members so we have volunteers are working across the world. In every single military treatment facility every military hospital. Including ones here in Louisiana for polled. And Barksdale Air Force Base we have. Many women that are volunteering their timing given. All those wonderful gifts to our men and women of our service members. We also. Are also involved in every veterans population was a 325000. Batters in the state of Louisiana alone. It's a big recently I think per capita we have more members in this service than any other state Louisiana is a huge National Guard population we have with a large national park populations. So we actually have specific programs that are designed. Not only for our veterans our service members we have paper and copy connection workshops which. Is actually talk about licensed mental health clinicians we have. Licensed mental health professionals volunteer their time and come in and actually teach healthy coping skills t.'s service members. Pre and post deployments for PT EST great thing to keep we have more compact PG esteem Marty to actually occurring. And in Louisiana we actually having pilot program which is the only one in the nation right now. That is actually doing suicide prevention group. So we have actually in the state of Louisiana last year alone had seven earned twenty suicide deaths. Eleven of those were service members that were in the Louisiana national power. So we started trying to figure a way that we can help that and we traded three tier process. Which is prevention intervention and post intervention. In the prevention we teach our rejection workshops. We've done roughly thirteen 137 them so far this year. We are actually leading the nation we have the highest number of these workshops. Ever done. Our division was actually asked to be 15. And we don't thirteen current or just when you do just to lead or you're taking this across the controversial to allocate large right now we are the only one that's off thrust him because Y eight testing it. And we teach a program called assists which is applied suicide intervention skills training. It's a nationally recognized program but we found through our partners with the Louisiana department of health and hospitals. Through the VA hospital systems into the national guards resiliency program suicide prevention command and the American Red Cross. That we can actually giveaways drink for free so we actually. Don't roughly 287. Of these participants have come to our intervention training. And to date we have seven people that we've actually document save a life in the last 120 days. And sort of put a price on the right side and it it's just you're busy you sleep question. I'm very large as far as police gusting up I think I have one of the largest police guys change. Enjoyed touched on earlier that when we bring in volunteers. SAF for services armed forces is a way they can stay engaged here along where we have. Ton of things constantly gallon. And then we help prepare them for disaster teams and then whenever we haven't no notice event or we have disaster than those volunteers can just with a snap a finger. Jump over to be a disaster volunteers say this has there haven't prevention training from the very beginning so it makes it easier adaptable and well the beautiful thing about this is that we have mobile staff members are SPF fifteen members that are deployed every single base across the world it's a US space. As a red cross station there. But form Barksdale and our. Fort Polk installations we accept personal that worked there and they teach everything just like disaster says they're responsible for disaster training CPR. Squad aches. Every single program the Red Cross paths. SEF does internally each one of those bases. Because. For lack of better word arm military population can't be classified as impoverished or at risk. Because. Of the locations they live in the duties eight days since. Let us back to united way and and I know the current process involved to end what we call Alice asset limited income constrained employed. These are our arsenal are hardest working families taxpaying individuals are fighting for our country and yes it making ends meet at the end of the month. Really tough yep exactly. What would come back and talks about that you piecemeal and at the segue because you talked about a clock next disagreed over here yeah. Finishing a microphone. But don't we talked a little bit about the show it in this goes into being compared to the Venice of the south there is water. Everywhere particularly in our region. I you've got I'd want my news and that golf and river at everything and unfortunately. Every year. We hear about young children young adults even seasoned fisherman. Who lose their lives to in the water because maybe they're not taking the right precautions are in an alarm just went. That's it that's a means to be so why are very important also some new with the Red Cross does. It is very it is very important and one thing that's too. Significant to mention is that it isn't just children where risk adults are just as likely to. The victim of drowning as children. That's that there are a number of things that people can do you armed Tom. Within their home and when her. You know maybe make sense going out and buy you or. To another natural body of water on the main thing we really stresses if you have a home or make sure that there are. There's some people border rounded view of a small child's decade. Get out there that's. That's particularly vulnerable area. Palm another. Another important. Tactic if you're out you see someone he's struggling he's drowning. Or something out of them never jumping go after them on that increase is likely that you could be pulled then went down. I'm glad you said that because your first instinct especially if you think you know how to swim is that you're going to be able to help that person. And often you can even endanger the person you're trying to help. Absolutely and another thing and I really can't stress this enough if you are going out on a voter you're going out in the water. Always bring life to us on the insurance certified like fast LA is on the vote turns over or there's an accident. You're always you'll always be secure until someone can come there to rescue Il. And I can't wanted to ask are like fast and but. You see so many people. Who will be out trust you it's it's south Louisiana you've got your fish of all you're out here staying on the edge of the body or something you don't think that body of water. It can be dangerous. But it can be and sometimes where that maybe there's not courage but again something else can happen. If you had a life jacket and some people sad what is their arm. I don't eat out like Jack and I'm on ground but wouldn't it be a good idea if you're going to be that close to. The water also take well a lot of people don't realize that. When it comes to aquatic. In life preservers they vote doesn't strong swimmer I'm okay or I'm just riding a slow pace there I found what they don't realize is that. Injury can actually occur. Where of boating accident happens where you're doing everything exactly perfect in five. And that some guy that's not doing something correctly. Like say you know voting collision hits your vote. And what your child or your spouse is not. How does not have a life preserver on and there you injured knocked unconscious or one of their lenses injured where they can't utilize it to function as well. Now they've become something where. Donnelly you have to worry about saving yourself you're trying to worry about saving someone else. But if you have this life preservers and you have them even with the self inflatable ones and hit the water main where they don't limit your range of motion. He gives you that extra added level of safety to Wear when something happens is just like disasters. You can always prepare for one when you know something's coming. But it's when something occurs that your not expecting that really puts you at risk so when he comes to liken donors flood or tornado. Those events that you need to have something always being prepared. Because you don't know it's coming you need to be ready at a moment's notice. Not sitting there waiting what hurricane where you're waiting but you know week why you're watching you need to do I go don't rag I I stand where I go by everything that's my CPR's even wonderful skilled half because. Those type of skills are utilized. In a moment's notice when something is not expect. And I'm glad you mentioned hurricanes in there because during her Canada and it only takes about six inches of water to you knock a person over person who ran six inches of water no don't believe it only takes about a foot of water can move motorized vehicle stranded itself. Why don't these changes are meant for many years ago I'm there was a young being undertaken in the swimming lessons partly deliberate process it. And because of it. That he he was frightened or more grown up in her said he didn't ever have an opportunity really to swim lessons but he wanted to warrant. As many years ago because then Katrina struck he was able to save his entire family you'll remember yes because. All of what he belonged to Red Cross lifeguards read I think it was and what are pretty it was just. Wanna wedding cakes and ice and insist we take. Things for granted and you mentioned tornadoes which. I'm gonna go back real quick because. When that tornadoes and and the flooding and everything just came up as you mentioned Robert you've got to be prepared. You said. Just a foot of water six inches can live a cart great and also in the water rising and rising and rising. What do you do how can you be prepared for something like that. She'll Wear one look at things that the Red Cross has is we have an emergency app you can go to your App Store. And I download the emergency up from the American Red Cross you just do a search for American red cross and it'll pop up. The thing I love about this app is that I monitor people who live out of state I monitor their locations I have two kids in different states in college. And I'm monitor their weather I give them a little heads up hey you know flooding expected. You know so it's it's a really gone great. Tool to help you know that paint there's a possibility that something's getting ready to happen and you need to be alert and stay informed with your weather with your news. And dumb and also on this app there is a link. I'm to let your family members know that you are safe and well. It's a little icon up in the corner of the apple the upper left hand corner decompress and just typing neither he. Your name with either your phone number or your address and then they can go to that same site typing your name your phone number address and it'll let them know that you are safe and well. We also have a website that you can go to and it is a safe and well all together. Dot what is it. Safe and well dot com so say the low dollar toward dot org correct. And I you can go to the website accomplish the same thing in your name along with your phone number and address and all your relatives know. And it's something something that all volunteers I'm sure Joseph do you push that message out across the country. Yes we talk about time doing preparedness. And how are doing some training. We bring. Harm we also have something Michael CD Swedish community disaster education and we code to arm. Agencies were eager to some are corporations. That water around. The state can begin peace talks and explained term. What they need to do if something comes how to be prepared and also talk about the apps. Christina remember a couple of years ago of the illustrator was. Regarding businesses that he's making sure that they were prepared and ready not only for there. The business itself reports of their employees it was kinda a trickle down effect trying to be more more. The needs of the community yeah I. I did for Obama at Waterford. So very important manually Charlie at all. Employees. But we've done it several of the companies here. Pro Brothers. Instructions so sure a large company and not come. Date we talked about biting us from getting sick time and to schedule so that there employees can listen to what we've got to say. Is that they're ready. Red Cross ready wringing is that the program or there's a little restaurant business to think you've got so many things going on how do you keep track right. Well. Detained there and I have. Good answer. Note that folks we are one not this is just so many things that we can talk about because response has been involved it beyond a wave across have been community impact. Partners for so so many years please if people want to know more about the right across and we just barely scratched the surface I feel. Greg what is the best web site to go to. He that's what city is who is right cross dot org back slash Louisiana. Another great resource is our FaceBook page which is at Red Cross this Iowa as he LA for southeast Louisiana. And particularly as worried as I mentioned has grown hurricane season and then over the summer with things like. Memorial Day July 4 quarter. You know there's an increased risk fires through fireworks barbecuing and annals of them aquatic species we just discussed. We put a lot of safety messaging. Regarding that on entering name. And preparation for hurricane season we put it we hurricane preparedness information which people can go back and reference. And then it has an even thunderstorm does approach will generally put up our information where shelters can be located and now certain communities. There is a flight risk to communities putting up sandbags trying to share information like that it's coming from our community partners so. Prior to during and after work putting that information so people can mean prepared they can react and eight tan. Begin making a transition back. It seems Greg Greg thank you so very much. Greg roach who is the communications and marketing manager of the Louisiana region are American Red Cross. Robert Harris who is the regional program director for services for the armed forces. We have our volunteer leaders here deep bitterly they volunteer for the regional disaster lead and also duty Eaton who has a community volunteer leader and spoke so I think you so much for joining us I'm Jerry Westerfield and for united way I hope you'll join me in saying live united.