Red Cross Shelters--Reallocation of Resources? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I found an interesting post on another prep forum:

Check out the post from Darilia on 10-5-99.

-- Sam Mcgee (, October 07, 1999


Page can not be found...Are you able to link?

-- Uncle Bob (UNCLB0B@Y2KOK.ORG), October 07, 1999.


I am link impaired. Also forgot to capitalize the F in forum.

-- Sam Mcgee (, October 07, 1999.

It's an eye-opener, but not much less than I suspected--Darilia writes:

I think this may be what the govt had in mind all along with the 3-day storm bit. Our local Red Cross in conjunction with the Salvation Army is prepared to take over the high schools (generators) w/ the elementary schools (no generators) as "possible" back ups in the four densely populated counties they handle. ( - my city <> has a pop. of 55,000 - how do they propose to stuff them all in the high school?) Here, you get your belongings searched before being admitted. Foodstuffs will be confiscated at the door, as will water, matches, lighters & tobacco products, "extra" blankets, pillows, meds, first aid supplies, etc., etc. Basically, if you pack what other sites refer to as a 72hr Bug Out Bag, it will be emptied for the good of the group except for your clothing. They even prefer toys be placed in a sharing pile to reduce squabbles. I asked about Rx drugs. They plan to take those away too - and you get them distributed to you like in a hospital except you have to remember to go ask for them when needed. Supposedly they can sleep 50-75 per classroom. That's wall to wall bodies. Thanks but no thanks. Cots will go to elderly, ill and advanced stage pregnant people first. If there are not enough, the rest get the floor. The rep couldn't comment on potential mandatory evacuation to shelters but said it's always a possibility. She did say that if problems persist beyond a week or two the food supply currently available would be limited to one or two meals per day and won't last very long w/o military assistance and "contributions" from local retailers and residents.

This is where I will be directing those who failed to prepare (including extended family members) limited resources plus the explosive, violent nature of my PTSD when triggered requires that I do everything in my power to keep my immediate family & me out of one of those places. I had already printed out the Red Cross info & gave copies of the data at Hyatt's site to my family members as well as the local #'s to see for themselves. I've told my mother & siblings they will not be welcome at my home, that if they don't prepare they have to go to a shelter. My siblings don't believe me, think I can't say "go away" thinks going to a shelter would be a "fun & exciting" adventure. I give up and I can't allow myself to worry about them any longer. They're DWGI's "don't wanna get it."

End of paste job.

-- Old Git (, October 07, 1999.

Took some searching, here is the article:

American Red Cross and The Year 2000 Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure

In keeping with the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act (October 19, 1998), The American National Red Cross (American Red Cross) is participating in the disclosure and exchange of information about computer processing problems, solutions, and related matters in connection with the transition to the Year 2000. We are providing this Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure in that spirit.

For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross has been at the cutting edge of disaster relief activities, helping people prevent, prepare for, and cope with disasters and other emergencies. The American National Red Cross is also the nation's largest supplier of blood, plasma, and tissue services.

With the millennium fast approaching, the American Red Cross has numerous efforts well underway to ensure that we will continue to fulfill our missions in 2000 and beyond. We have established a Year 2000 Project Office to oversee our efforts to address Year 2000 issues that might affect our ability to provide the services upon which the American public relies.

Based on our efforts to date, the American Red Cross does not anticipate a substantial adverse impact on our mission to provide humanitarian services and blood and other biomedical services to people in need.

As part of our Year 2000 Project, we have undertaken activities to ensure that we will be ready to continue to provide the services for which you have come to rely on the American Red Cross. Our Year 2000 Project Office established a phased approach to address Year 2000 issues in all of our departments. The approach involves:

Inventory of systems, equipment, supplies, and facilities. Assessment of vulnerabilities to the Year 2000 problem, including an evaluation as to their impact on the unit's ability to carry out its mission and day-to-day operations.

Remediation, as necessary, to repair, update, replace, or provide "work arounds" for equipment, hardware, software, or suppliers that are not Year 2000 compliant.

Testing or validation of the repaired, updated, or replaced equipment, systems, and supplier relationships is necessary to ensure they will function as expected on and after January 1, 2000. Contingency planning for all mission critical items identified during the inventory and assessment phases to reduce the adverse impact if there should be any failures in either supply chain, equipment, or systems.

Red Cross Information Systems: Year 2000 Compliance

The Information Systems Division at national headquarters is in the process of ensuring that all national headquarters-supported software used by national headquarters, chapters, Blood Services regions, and other units is Year 2000 compliant. In addition, the Year 2000 Project Office is actively gathering information on our suppliers' Year 2000 compliance status. We are developing contingency plans to prevent our supply chain from being adversely affected by the Year 2000. Our lines of service, Biomedical Services, Chapter Services, and Disaster Services also have Year 2000 readiness activities underway throughout the organization.

Red Cross Biomedical Services: Year 2000 Efforts American Red Cross Biomedical Services, as one of the leading providers of blood and blood services to the American people, is diligently working to ensure that we address the issue of the Year 2000. Our preparations for Year 2000 are of critical importance to hospitals and patients all over the country. We are taking all necessary steps to assure our customers and ourselves that we are prepared to continue the delivery of our critical services.

In addition to the Red Cross-wide Year 2000 management efforts, American Red Cross Biomedical Services has established its own Year 2000 Preparedness Project Office. Biomedical Services Year 2000 efforts are headed by Biomedical Services senior management from our headquarters in Washington, DC, Blood Services and Tissue Services regional leadership, and other key staff from Biomedical Services facilities, including the Red Cross National Testing Laboratories.

The Biomedical Services Year 2000 Project is comprised of several committees, including a Steering Committee of senior management and a Coordinating Committee. The Steering Committee is currently engaged in activities to offer assistance to all parts of Biomedical Services. Biomedical Services efforts are guided by a Project Management Plan (PMP) developed by staff from the BHQ Year 2000 Preparedness Project Office and field representatives from all of Biomedical Services. In general, all Biomedical Services facilities have been engaged in activities prescribed by the PMP, including providing equipment inventory listings; mapping information on equipment and supplies to our business processes; and developing and conducting risk assessments for the Year 2000.

Red Cross Chapter and Disaster Services: Year 2000 Preparations The American Red Cross Disaster Services Y2K Task Force has been looking at the Y2K problem from a disaster preparedness and response perspective and has published a Community Disaster Education brochure that contains a checklist of what people can do to prepare themselves for Y2K related or caused disasters. The Disaster Services Task Force is also undertaking a regular series of articles providing advice to Red Cross chapters on how to approach this problem and prepare for related events in their individual communities. The Task Force will continue to meet and publish information for chapters periodically. In addition, the topic will be addressed during the American Red Cross Disaster Services Leadership Conference in St. Louis from Jan 14-16, 1999.

"Y2K: What You Should Know" Disaster Preparedness Brochure

Frequently Asked Questions What is "Y2K?" Why are people concerned?

The Year 2000 technology problem, or bug, as it is sometimes called, was created in the early days of computers, when memory in computers was scarce and expensive. Programmers took shortcuts whenever possible to save space. Instead of using a four-digit code for year dates, a two-digit entry was used. This practice persisted, long after the need for saving space was eliminated. The two-digit code also was used in embedded chips, which exist in many devices that control processes, functions, machines, elevators, building ventilation systems, and fire and security alarm systems, which are part of our everyday lives.

When the year 2000 comes, programs that have been coded with two- digit year codes will not distinguish between the years 2000 and 1900. If the program includes time-sensitive calculations or comparisons, results are unpredictable. No one knows what problems may occur, how widespread they may be, or how long they will last. The good news is that federal, state, and local governments; banks and other financial institutions; retail businesses, and every other group affected by this problem have been working to resolve it, and a great deal of progress has been made.

When could Y2K problems happen?

Most people anticipate Y2K problems may happen December 31, 1999, at midnight. Many experts predict that the problem is more likely to be a persistent one over a few years rather than a single "crash." Also, the year 2000 is a leap year, and the leap year date 02/29/00 may be a problem for some computer programs as well.

There also is some concern regarding fiscal year 2000 dates in those organizations with fiscal years that end earlier than December 31, 1999. Also, there may be a computer-based problem with other specific dates, such as April 9th, 1999, which is the 99th day of the year, or on 9/9/99. In the past, a series of nines was used to indicate termination of a computer program, and some experts believe that when all nines show up in a date sequence, some computer systems could read it as a program termination command.

What kinds of things could happen as a result of Y2K problems?

The President's Council on Y2K Conversion, established by the White House, as well as a special Senate Committee, have focused their attention on defining the scope of the Y2K problem. Hearings have been conducted by the United States Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem and have focused on the following eight areas:

Utilities and the national power grid International banking and finance Health care industry Transportation Telecommunications Pension and mutual funds Emergency planning General business

How can I get copies of the brochure "Y2K: What You Should Know"?

The brochure "Y2K: What You Should Know" can be printed from our web site. If you want this information in brochure form, please contact your local Red Cross chapter and ask for brochure stock number A44891. Chapters are charged for copies of the brochures (at cost of printing) and for shipping charges. Single copies of the brochure should be available at no charge through your local Red Cross chapter. If you wish to order bulk quantities of the brochure, your chapter will request reimbursement of their costs. Please ask your local Red Cross chapter for more information about the brochure price and about shipping charges.

Do I need to treat water before storing it?

Use directions provided by your local or state public health agency. In the case where your local or state public health agency does not have information, follow the recommendation below. Make sure the water storage container you plan to use is of food grade quality. If your local water is treated commercially by a water treatment utility, you do not have to treat the water before storing it. Treating water with bleach is superfluous and not necessary. Doing so does not increase storage life. It is important to change and replace stored water every six months.

If your local water is NOT treated commercially by a water treatment facility, that is, if your water comes from a public well or other public, non-treated system, follow instructions provided by your water provider for what may need to be done to store such water for extended periods. Still, change and replace stored water every six months.

If your local water comes from a private well or other private source, consult with your local public health agency about recommendations regarding storage of water. Some water sources have contaminants (minerals or parasites) that can not be neutralized by treatment with liquid household chlorine bleach. Only your local public health agency should make recommendations about whether your local water can be safely stored, for how long, and how to treat it.

How long can I store food supplies?

Look for an "expiration date" or "best if used by" date on the can. If you can not find a date on the can, then the general recommendation is to store canned food for six months and then replace it. Some households find it helpful to pull cans of food for their regular dinner from their disaster supplies kit and replace them immediately on an ongoing basis, so the food supplies are always fresh. For more information about storing food and water for disaster preparedness, please see our brochure "Food and Water in an Emergency". If you want this information in brochure form please contact your local Red Cross chapter and ask for stock number A5055.

Why do you advise against hooking up a generator directly to your home's wiring?

There are several reasons why hooking up a generator to your home's electrical service is not a wise idea:

Home-use (non-industrial) generators do not supply enough amperage to supply power for today's homes sufficiently (that is to run a furnace, lighting, appliances, and other electronic equipment). Unless your home's power supply was installed with a disconnect to the main power feeding lines, power you put into your home from a generator could "backfeed" into the main line and cause other problems for the electrical utility company, your neighbors, or yourself.

Many home fires and deaths from Carbon Monoxide poisoning have occurred (statistics from the Northeastern Ice Storm of January/February 1997 show that as many as 100 people were killed and 5,000 people injured by misuse of a generator at home). The 1999 National Electrical Code., published by the National Fire Protection Association, is a nationally recognized standard for safe electrical installations. The NEC. does permit an interface between the normal power source (generally the electric utility) and an alternate power source (such as a standby or portable generator) provided that the proper transfer equipment that prevents "backfeeding" is used. Simply connecting a cord from the generator to a point on the permanent wiring system and "backfeeding" power is an unsafe method to supply a building during a utility outage. Improper connection methods not only endanger the building occupants, but pose a serious hazard to electric utility workers as well.

There are a number of products available that will provide either an automatic or manual transfer between two power sources in a manner prescribed by the NEC.. When selecting a product for this function, it should be one that has been evaluated for safe performance by a nationally recognized testing organization such as Underwriters Laboratories. The product must be installed according to the NEC., all applicable state and local codes, and the manufacturer's instructions. Homeowners should only attempt to install such products if they have a thorough knowledge of safe electrical installation practices for this type of equipment. Otherwise a qualified electrician should be contacted.

If you plan to use a generator, please follow the directions supplied with it. Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, within a structure. Adequate ventilation is necessary and proper refueling practices, as described in the owner's manual, must be followed.

What is the basis for the Red Cross recommendation to store supplies to last several days to a week?

Red Cross recommendations to have food, water, and other emergency supplies on hand are not new, and are considered reasonable in case of any disaster. Our recommendations are to have supplies to last at least three days to a week. Most reasonable people would not consider such quantities of supplies as a "stockpile" or "hoarding." We understand that there are some other groups or organizations that are suggesting storing larger quantities of supplies for various reasons. We will stick with our recommendations, because experience with hundreds of disasters over many, many years has indicated that the vast majority of people in the U.S. can get to one of our shelters for caring comfort or receive other assistance in a matter of a few days after even the most severe event.

The potential effect of the Y2K technology problem on any of these areas is unknown, and the situation continues to change as federal, state, and local governments, industries, businesses, and organizations, as well as the general public, take actions to reduce the problem.

If you have further questions please contact us.

The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. We're in your neighborhood every day, providing disaster preparedness information and supplying life-giving blood products, to help keep families like yours safer and healthier. For more information, please contact your local American Red Cross.

Note: This information is provided as guidance only; it is not legal advice.

-- here it is (, October 07, 1999.

I don't know Darilia but I do have a problem with the info she posted. I would very much like to know where she got her info.

I am a disaster services volunteer for my county, have a county ID and provide emergency communications (and more as necessary) in time of disaster. In going to the Red Cross "Disaster College" a few years back I took classes and got certs on Shelter Management, Disaster Feeding Operations, Aid to families, etc....I never heard anything promoting the type of appropriation of personal goods this person is speaking about. In visiting operating shelters I have never seen any type of confiscation (the drunk with the bottle of vodka was asked to give up the bottle or leave though).

Granted an extreme disaster might bring about extreme responses but I have serious doubts about the confiscations she was talking about.


CA OES, Auxiliary Communications Service Russian River Disaster Response Unit

-- Don Kulha (, October 07, 1999.

We will stick with our recommendations, because experience with hundreds of disasters over many, many years has indicated that the vast majority of people in the U.S. can get to one of our shelters for caring comfort or receive other assistance in a matter of a few days after even the most severe event.

This is what they are saying throughout the media - prepare for a three day event so you can "get to one of our shelters". THEN WHAT?

-- I GET IT (, October 07, 1999.

In a couple of shelter situations I have worked (weather) we confiscated NOTHING!!!!

In the Perry Nuke Drill, we DID confiscate. BUT IT WAS KNIVES and other POTENTIAL WEAPONS!!

My MIL takes what she calls the "Shelter kit" to a huricane shelter:

Lawn chairs, pillows blankets and food, water etc.

HAVE NO CLUE where this info comes from but it AIN'T IN THE ARC 3000 series BOOK!!! (for those of you who have never been Disater trained, if it aint in the 3000 Series it AIN'T GONNA BE!)

Chuck Local DAT, with SDA, Mass Care (includes Shelter Mgt), COMM, DHS, EAF I (never got around to II), ASDO, training.

-- Chuck, a night driver (, October 08, 1999.

Don Kuhla:

Are you currently a member/volunteer of the Red Cross? If not, how do you know what their contigency plans are if shelters are overwhelmed? Especially since they haven't publicized their contingency plans?

If a town of 50,000 people were hit by a tornado and 25000 of them were rendered homeless where would they go? Some would stay with friends or relatives, some would stay in motels, some would stay in shelters in that town or neighboring towns.

If the neighboring towns were also hit by tornadoes and those friends and relatives were also rendered homeless, and the motels were all full or too damaged, where are these 25,000 people going to go? Of course the number of affected people would be higher now because of the wide path of the tornado-say, 40,000 people. The only places left to go are shelters.

If this tornado, or series of tornadoes hit 10 other towns/counties with a population of 50,000 (in the same state), and half the people in each of these areas are rendered homeless you now have 290,000 people in need of caring comfort.

If this tornado from hell affected 10 other states in the same fashion you could have close to 3,000,000 people descending on shelters all at the same time. Who will supply the shelters with food, water, bedding, etc.? If I remenber correctly, if a local Red Cross chapter is overwhelmed, they go to neighboring chapters for help or to the state chapter (I didn't go to Red Cross College, so I might have this wrong). If the neighboring chapters are also overwhelmed and the state organization is overwhelmed, where will the local chapter go for help?

What if communications were disrupted? What if gasoline was not available because the pumps weren't working? What if there were no street lights or traffic lights? What if the 911 system wasn't working? What if this "tornado" happened in the dead of winter in a cold climate?

It would be a logistical nightmare.

To what lengths could or should a relief angency go to provide for the people in their care? Especially if many of those people could've provided for themselves if they had bothered to prepare.

Of course, maybe more of these people would've prepared better if they hadn't been spoon-fed "don't worry, it'll be OK" propaganda for 2 years, by organizations (government or otherwise) too arrogant to admit they might not be able to cope with the situation.

I believe the Red Cross is a fine group and they have done tremendous work caring for displaced people during disasters. I just don't think they will be able to handle this particular disaster. I don't think any organization could if the sh** really hits the fan.

Under dire circumstances, I think confiscation and "reallocation" of goods being brought into shelters is a real possibility. Maybe Darilia just happened to find someone willing to speak the unpleasant truth.

-- ?? (gimme@shelter.not), October 08, 1999.

* * * 19991008 Friday

"Good Hearted," albeit NAIVE, EM-types, CONSIDER:

. Detroit, MI, Water/Sewerage: (15) Trailer generators = $40,000,000 (of their department $60,000,000 Y2K budget!?!)

. Southeast Michigan: ~4,500,000 citizens (one-half of state population! Thirsty, constipated, hungry, cold ... SHUDDER!!)

From most recent ('ONEWAY'--THEM to us!) "Y2K Community Conversations" in this region (Southfield, Oakland County, MI!):

ARC: Working contingencies with churches and schools. (Non-responsive to food query. Floyd's "eaten" most reserves!)

EMO's: Only "plan for warming centers" ... "Take care of yourself!" (Warming centers don't put water/food in bellies.)

I think both of the above "plans" are reasonable for 3 day events; BYO water/food.

[ Note: No Y2K "Conversation" planned for Detroit-proper due to "high risk" of fanning flames, causing "undue panic!"

"Do Gooders," kindly tell the rest of us what the above urban clap- trap from (BLACK representatives!) ARC and EM types in this region will breed in a true catastrophe? (My own ears, eyes, shock, and elevated blood pressure--I was soooo livid, hearing contemptuous remarks like that!) ]

Beyond 3 days, these sites sound like ready made death camps for the sick/lame/lazy.

The best intentions of honorable people will fly out the window with Executive Orders (EO's)--Those become your so-called MANUAL, Folks!

Read the EO's thoroughly! Then, consult your conscience about the likly prospects and nature of your real missions.

Regards, Bob Mangus

* * *

-- Robert Mangus (, October 08, 1999.

During Y2K the red cross itself will probably be under federad control, confiscation sounds like what the feds would do to anyone stupid enough to go in.

-- none (, October 08, 1999.

What is a warming center? Incinderator?

-- rmoose (, October 08, 1999.

Here's an article from WRAL-TV (Raleigh) about the Red Cross being overwhelmed by the number of people needing assistance in at least one instance. Important to note is that Rocky Mount is only about 30 minutes from the NC capital, Raleigh, where one would suppose there were lots of RC volunteers available. (There's an RC volunteer on our street here in Durham--he was never called.) According to its publications, the Red Cross is the federally-designated agency for providing shelter, and the RC warns other entities (including city governments) that if they shelter people, they likely will not get reimbursement from the federal government. (Hint, hint!) Also important to note is that Floyd was accepted by all as a dangerous storm which would cause serious problems some days before it hit. Nobody said Floyd would be a bump in the road.

The article seems to say in the introduction that the Red Cross was asked to set up a shelter in the area but replied it didn't have the resources. In addition, the RC apparently made no attempt to supply this particular shelter with any of the usual evacuation supplies--it was left up to the Salvation Army to supply hot meals three days later (probably by happenstance). True, the Red Cross cannot do everything. BUT--if it is the designated federal shelter agency, then it ought to be a bit better prepared when full warning is given concerning a limited area several days in advance--why weren't more volunteers in nearby unaffected areas or states on standby?

This post is not to be construed as criticism per se; it is a caution that we have been led to believe the Red Cross will shelter us in an emergency but it doesn't take a whole lot for the RC to become over-extended. Bear in mind too that there are still thousands--THOUSANDS--of homeless people in eastern North Carolina and will be for some time to come, and FEMA, the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other emergency resources are being severely depleted, despte frantic fund-raising, especially by the media.

All the more reason to be prepared for more than a few days. It's not just Y2K, is it?

Saturday September 18, 1999 11:58 AM

Volunteers Provide Shelter for Rocky Mount Evacuees

ROCKY MOUNT (WRAL) -- Thousands of people in Rocky Mount have had to flee their homes due to rising flood waters. The Red Cross only had the resources to set up one shelter in Nash County. For people who had to flee the waters in the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount, volunteers set up a shelter of their own.

Blankets may not seem like much to get excited about, but hundreds of evacuees who had been sleeping on a hard gym floor were grateful this small comfort was delivered.

Parker Middle School was not intended to be a safe haven, but many of the evacuees from Rocky Mount could not reach the nearest shelter ten miles away in Nash County. So the school opened its doors and volunteers set up a makeshift shelter.

Because this is not an official shelter, there was no food, and at times there was no power or air conditioning. Friday, three days after many families arrived here, the Salvation Army showed up and delivered their first meal.

For many Rocky Mount residents, all they can do now is wait.

Water is beginning to recede in some areas, and some roads are being reopened, but there is still a tremendous amount of flooding and a number of areas without power.

Parker Middle School will remain open until everyone can leave. The Salvation Army will also begin providing three meals a day until the shelter is emptied.

-- Old Git (, October 08, 1999.

Our mouthpiece of DOOM G.N. sayeth.....

Why 72 Hours? Because You Will Be Able to Go to a Red Cross Shelter in 72 Hours Comment: OK, think through the implications of this answer from the Red Cross's site:

What is the basis for the Red Cross recommendation to store supplies to last several days to a week?

Red Cross recommendations to have food, water, and other emergency supplies on hand are not new, and are considered reasonable in case of any disaster. Our recommendations are to have supplies to last at least three days to a week. Most reasonable people would not consider such quantities of supplies as a "stockpile" or "hoarding." We understand that there are some other groups or organizations that are suggesting storing larger quantities of supplies for various reasons. We will stick with our recommendations, because experience with hundreds of disasters over many, many years has indicated that the vast majority of people in the U.S. can get to one of our shelters for caring comfort or receive other assistance in a matter of a few days after even the most severe event.

Here's what I come up with.

1. You cannot get 260 million Americans into Red Cross shelters.

2. Therefore, the disruptions had better be quite limited geographically.

3. You cannot get everyone in your town into a Red Cross shelter.

4. Therefore, the disruptions had better be quite minimal locally.

5. But y2k is a threat to every computerized system.

6. These systems are everywhere.

7. Very few are compliant.

8. Therefore, y2k is inherently trivial.

OR. . . .

The Red Cross is recommending a preposterously low inventory because its managers know that there are not enough reserves for everyone to store more than 72 hours' worth of stuff. So, for PR reasons, the Red Cross is recommending too little.


-- zoobie (, October 08, 1999.

i love it. the government hates the church until their plans fail, then they need the church to pick up the slack on the humanitarian plans. i advocate that they include the church in the plans right up front so the church can prepare too!!! thank goodness for the red cross. but thank goodness for the salvation army!!!!

-- tt (, October 08, 1999.

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