The Red Cross is mostly known for its ability to provide relief to people who have been hit with a large scale, news-breaking natural disaster. But disasters happen everyday here in our community in the form of floods and fires. A lesser known fact is the kind of relief that the Red Cross provides to those single family disasters. Recently the Greater Carolinas Chapter assisted a family when their home was damaged during a thunderstorm as a tree fell through their roof bursting into the living room.
Joseph and his wife had just woken up from an afternoon nap to realize that they were in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm. As they stood in the kitchen with their two pets they heard a loud, house shaking boom that Joseph believed was lightening striking the house. He soon discovered that a massive tree had been uprooted by the strong winds of the storm and was now lying in the middle of his home. Joseph said, “When I saw the trees coming through my ceiling and windows it was horrifying.”
He urgently called the fire department and waited at the other end of the house for them to arrive. Joseph was also relieved to see Howard Hanlon, who is the emergency services manager of the Mooresville Office of the Red Cross. As the fire department was busy working on the house Hanlon was there to make sure that Joseph and his wife received the help they needed.
“If nothing else he (Hanlon) made us feel comfortable….like we were not alone”, Joseph said. Hanlon told the couple that they had arranged for the two of them along with their dog to stay at a nearby hotel for the night until they could work out further arrangements.
The couple is now back into their home and repairs to their house are just now finishing up. As Joseph looked back on the incident he recalled, “The Red Cross was a real blessing, they made a bad situation kinda good.”