Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Worldly Wednesday: FEMA and the Red Cross

Today, we are going to look at two organizations that are in place to help after a disaster, FEMA and the Red Cross.


-Federal Emergency Management Agency
-Part of the Department of Homeland Defense since March 2003
-Mission: "The primary mission of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters, by leading and supporting the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation." (from Fema's website)
-Most of us will only ever use FEMA as a preparedness resource, but it is important to note they are also there to protect us, respond after a disaster (natural or manmade), help us recover and get back on our feet.
-Vocabulary word: mitigate-to ease or calm; to lessen or make less severe

The American Red Cross

-International relief organization; also known as Red Crescent
-Services offerd: provide relief and assistance after a disaster, help families who have lost their home, provide relief for emergency personnel (juice, cookies for firefighters), help collect and maintain blood supply, training people in first aid and CPR, help unite or bring closure to families of missing persons (particularly after a disaster or war)and help get deployed military personnel home during a family emergency
-History: Clara Barton: was a field nurse during the Civil War; founded (vocab wod=started) the American Red Cross in 1881 and led it for 23 years; a nice age-appropriate biography to read is Clara Barton: Spirit of the American Red Cross by Patricia Lakin and Simon Sullivan.
-Much more information on the Red Cross website, including a coloring book of Red Cross posters

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