Disaster response at all-time high, Organizations adapt during pandemic


HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM)-Disaster response is at an all-time high right now in the region – that, coupled with the on-going pandemic – how are non-profit’s adapting when it comes to serving communities when catastrophe hits.

Lieutenant Lorretta Dulay work with the Salvation Army of Eureka.

“Our normal operations have changed dramatically because of COVID,” Dulay said.

Lorretta Dulay says, their operation has changed to adapt – and now – the wildfires.

“Which brings a whole new level of COVID response, we’ve been in emergency disaster mode since about March of this year,” she said.

With change – comes additional expenses for the non-profit.

“We’ve always worn gloves, but now we have to have masks on, everything now has to be individually wrapped,” said Dulay.

Cost is not the only symptom related to changes – they are now required to comply with state and local guidelines.

“All the restaurants have to do the same thing, so there’s a lot of demand and maybe not enough supply,” she said. “It does make it hard for us.”

It makes it hard for other non-profits, as well, according to Boyd Smith with the American Red Cross.

“Sheltering during COVID is one thing, and also the usage of personal protective equipment is another,” he said.  

Boyd smith with the American Cross says, he too has a seen drastic changes on how non-profits respond in a natural disaster situation amid COVID-19.

“For the indoor shelter that was developed was at a 50 person max capacity, which is what the desired COVID congregate shelter number is.”

Outside of COVID, that number could go up to a super dome capacity.

Another thing non-profits have to contend with while providing assistance is providing PPE.

“Is to provide that because your community that’s leaving their homes to have their masks and other mitigation.”

And leaving their homes to get to safety for both themselves -and for some their pets.

“There is of course, as my buddy is right here is nodding there is great facilities for livestock.”

Boyd adds, the animal boarding facilities are not accepting any food donations.

The Salvation Army says they are only accepting monetary donations at this time.

For more information on the Salvation Army click here and more information related to the American Red Cross can be found by clicking here.

-Paid Advertisement-