Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Below is Amir Roohi talking about our efforts to assist our neighbors on the coast:


The past few days have been a whirlwind for the American Red Cross of Central Texas. We not only sent two of our great volunteers down to the Texas Valley to help prepare for now Hurricane Alex, we also responded to a home that had been flooded because of the heavy rains yesterday. 

A big thank you goes out to our local media outlets who has been so generous with their airtime. They have allowed us to get our message out so that the people of Central Texas can help our neighbors on the coast and here locally.

The Red Cross cannot say thank you enough to our volunteers and donors.Without their support we would not be able to have the resources necessary to assist victims of fires, floods, and hurricanes. Again thank you very much and muchas gracias!

If you would like to help please CLICK HERE.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today reminded many of us why we do what we do. Volunteers and staff alike have been working hard preparing for the possible landfall of Tropical Storm Alex on Texas' shores. They have done everything from preparing shelter kits to making sure that our  Emergency Response Vehicle is ready to be deployed at a moment's notice. Our Emergency Services Department has been making sure that we have volunteers ready to go wherever they are needed. As many of you know, the American Red Cross is the only national nonprofit organization with the primary mission of disaster relief. Our volunteers are the reason we are able to provide that relief. A big THANK YOU to them!  

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Hurricane season is upon us. As many of you know Austin is at the forefront of caring for those who have to evacuate there homes and livelihoods because of a hurricane.

Please consider training with us, for the full day, to be prepared in the event a hurricane enters the Gulf and our area accepts evacuees from the coast!  Sign up for one or all of the below trainings!

Partner Agency Shelter Operations Workshop
8:30am – 10:30am – Schedule ID: 3152249
Partner Agency Shelter Operations Workshop is an instructor-led, basic level course designed to share information with partner agency shelter workers that will result in providing quality service to clients at Red Cross disaster shelters.

Shelter Operations 
10:45am – 2:45pm (includes break for lunch) – Schedule ID:  3152322
Shelter Operations is an instructor-led, basic level course designed to give participants an overview of the American Red Cross policies and procedures for setting up, running and closing a shelter during a disaster.  The course includes lecture and group exercises.

FEMA Introduction to Incident Command System ICS 100 
3:00pm – 5:00pm – Schedule ID:  ICS100
ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). 
Note:  Participants will be required to take an online exam at their convenience to receive certification.

To register for any or all of the above please contact Stephanie Cosmas, Customer Service Coordinator at (512) 929-1294 or space is limited!

Be sure to provide the following information in your registration request:

First & Last Name
Mailing Address, including city, state and zip
Phone Number – Specify Cell, Home, or Work
Email Address
If you have trained with us before and know your student ID include that as well, we want to keep all your training in one place for you!

Please pass this on to anyone you think may be interested!




Monday, June 14, 2010


From Kevin McCoy, Emergency Services Volunteer

Most of the time American Red Cross of Central Texas volunteers focus on helping our own community respond to disasters.  Many of us are also in the Disaster Services Human Resource system, or DSHR.  The DSHR system records the capabilities of volunteers across the nation so that the American Red Cross can scale up nationwide to handle larger emergencies such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. 
Some of these disasters can be so devastating that power and phones are knocked out.  Establishing headquarters close to the disaster site has a lot of advantages, but this can only be done if communication and computing resources can be delivered.  One resource that helps ensure that crucial communication and other technology lines remain open and functioning during a disaster is the Emergency Communications Response Vehicle. 

Recently I traveled to the Greater Houston Area Chapter with fellow Volunteers Fred and Marcia Marks to learn to use and deploy the Emergency Communications Response Vehicle.  This could be locally for Central Texas chapter needs, or in a National Level Disaster.  

To overcome the effects of a disaster, the vehicle has its own power source, two satellite dishes, numerous radios, wired and wireless routers, laptops, Internet telephones, satellite phones, and patch equipment to join radio systems into networks.

 Marcia and Fred Marks with the ECRV
I got to take the class with good friends Fred and Marcia Marks who are also in the Austin Area.  I have worked together with them responding to  Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike, and on the ARC of Central Texas Mass Care Action Team or MCAT.  MCATs respond to Shelter, Feeding, and Distribution needs caused mostly by weather and fire based emergencies.

 The ECRV mast fully extended

The ECRV satellite dish

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Our very own Marty McKellips, CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Texas, recently sat down to talk about the importance of donating locally.

Disaster and Crisis Response: Marty Mckellips; CEO of the Red Cross of Central Texas from I Live Here, I Give Here on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Left to Right: Barry Boyce, Sarah Clark, Jose Dominguez, Laura Morrison, Marty McKellips, Debbie Immel

Last weekend marked the first time our Red Cross chapter participated in the annual Austin Pride Parade!  We weren't sure how it was all going to work out and getting everything organized in the weeks leading up to the parade was trying at times, but it ended up being so incredibly fun!  Walking through the staging area before the parade began and seeing all of the organizations that came out to support the LGBT community made me so proud to be an Austinite.

And then a funny thing happened.  As the Red Cross contingent marched down to the Warehouse district with the ERV following close behind (sometimes a little too close!), I started to hear spectators cheering for the Red Cross!  Cheering and waving their arms and giving high fives as we passed by!  Cheering because we were part of this event, cheering because of the great work that we do and cheering because we were doing our part to support all segments of this community.  That night, I was so proud to be a part of the American Red Cross.

After the parade was over, we picked up one of the most nicely dressed hitchhikers that I've ever seen.  It turned out to be City Councilwoman Laura Morrison who was also one of the Grand Marshals of the Pride Parade!  She was kind enough to take a picture with us and even let Jose wear her sash.

We are definitely planning on participating again next year and hope to have even more staff and volunteers come out and march with us.  I, for one, will not miss it!

~Sarah Clark, Executive Assistant   

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Your American Red Cross of Central Texas responded to a fire this morning in Elgin which destroyed a family home. Three adults along with ten family pets were displaced.  Thankfully, there were no injuries.  The Red Cross provided shelter and other essentials for the family who had lost their home.  We were grateful to have Carole Leandra, volunteer extraordinaire, on the scene to help assess the family's needs.  Volunteers truly are the backbone of the Red Cross and we couldn't do it without them!

Friday, June 4, 2010


 Ben Pearson, Bill Dorman, Steve Thompson, Lane Pearson and Jose Dominguez

The 3rd Annual Bastrop County American Red Cross Best Ball Golf Tournament was held April 17th at Lost Pines Golf Course in Bastrop.  The event raised more than $1,600 for the local chapter.  Thank you to Steve and Elaine Thompson, Joe Cook, and all our wonderful volunteers who helped make this event a success.   

Ron Brooks and Debbie Hilliard



Our Chapter will be marching in the Austin Pride Parade this Saturday, June 5th at 8:30pm in support of the Austin LGBT community. We want as many Red Cross staff and volunteers down there as we can get! Please feel free to bring friends and family as well as we support the Austin LGBT community. 

What to Wear
Wear your vest!!  Of course, if you have any Red Cross apparel please wear that as well.  And comfortable shoes.  We will have some extra vests at the event.

Public parking near the Long Center will be available for $10 in the following garages/lots:

·         Palmer Events Center Garage – Handicapped accessible parking is available in this garage on all levels near the elevators.
·         One Texas Center Parking Garage and Lot (505 Barton Springs Road)

The staging area for the parade will be on Auditorium Shores west of 1st Street.  We will not know our exact position in line until Saturday so just look for the ERV!!

What Time To Get There
Please be at the staging area by 7:30pm.

Parade Route
The parade will go from Auditorium Shores down Cesar Chavez to Congress and then into the Warehouse District via 4th Street.  See parade map below:

Walking groups will disband at 4th and Guadalupe and the ERV will need to continue down Guadalupe and back to the staging area.

The parade ends at the Austin Pride Block Party in the Warehouse District.  There is a $10 admission charge for the Block Party (which also gets you into every other Austin Pride Festival event except Mario Cantone) and it promises to be quite a party!  Blake Lewis, Frenchie Davis and DJ Chris Cox will be taking the stage and yummy food from places such as Carl’s Jr., The Belmont and Mangia Pizza will be onsite as well.  The Block Party is 21 and up.

If you are not interested in attending the Block Party, cabs and pedi-cabs will be available to get you back to the parking garages near the Long Center.

What to Bring
Everyone participating in the parade must sign a Liability Waiver and Photo Release Form.  You can print out the form here and bring it with you to the parade.  We will also have forms available at the staging area.  You will not be able to walk in the parade if you do not sign this form.

What Not To Bring

  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Confetti, silly string or air horns
  • Balloons filled with anything other than helium or air
  • Bricks, stones or any other projectile launching equipment (including water pistols)
  • Body armor
  • Probably best to also leave your dogs at home for this event
Hope to see you all on Saturday!
For more information, please contact Sarah Clark at


Our very own full time Services to Armed Forces volunteer Paul Williams was recently a guest on Inner Views with Abigail Mahnke, a KOOP 91.7 FM radio show featuring everyday people with extraordinary stories.  

A HUGE thanks to Paul for ALL he does for our chapter!!!!

 Paul Williams and Amir Roohi on Inner Views

Amir Roohi, Abigail Mahnke, and Paul Williams