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Santa Clarita Volunteers Aid Kern County Red Cross

ImageAs Los Angeles County braced itself for a weekend of ice and snow, concern grew that the I‑­5 freeway would have to be closed and stranded motorists would need shelter from the storm.

On Friday, January 12, the Santa Clarita District of the American Red Cross was asked by the Kern County Chapter to drive the Evacuation Supply trailer to Frazier Park, so that everything would be in position should the need arise.  Late that evening, volunteers Wilmer Pittman and Shawn Makavand transported the trailer, working in 20º weather.  "We were so cold we were shivering and our hands were frozen," said Pittman. 


On Saturday, the Kern County American Red Cross asked that a shelter team be assembled and placed on call.  District Duty Officer Sally O'Sullivan arranged for members of the Disaster Action Team to be on stand by.


ImageSunday morning, the Frazier Park water supply suffered damage from freezing and over 168 homes were without running water.  Kern County volunteers tirelessly went door to door distributing bottled water.  A small shelter was set up and supplies from the Santa Clarita trailer were used.  "Most people just came in for a shower and then went back home," said Steve Rodriguez, of Kern County American Red Cross.


The Disaster Action Team was activated on Monday.  Team members Susie Klose, Craig Baker, Joy Grahn and Jeff Cohn spent the day at Frazier Park, on hand to distribute water and information..


Throughout the weekend, Government Liaisons Cary Van Ausdall and Matt Seaver coordinated efforts with the Kern County and Ventura County Red Cross chapters.  "The Frazier Park/Gorman area is where all three counties come together and the jurisdiction often is shared," Van Ausdall stated.  "We have been working together with multiple Fire Departments, Sheriffs and CHP to provide a unified, organized response to emergencies and disasters."


"During the year we have drills simulating different emergencies, always striving to be prepared when we are called," said Kirk Nelson, Santa Clarita Disaster Chair.  "Many of the volunteers have worked together for many years and have developed into a real team.  We learn something from each incident and are always better prepared for the next disaster."

Santa Clarita Volunteers Aid Kern County Red Cross

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