Thursday, November 22, 2012

It was a Very Difficult Red Cross Volunteer deployment in NY, but I am at home now. At a Staten Island distribution center, Janet Napolitano shook my hand and talked to me. Pictures

My time in NY with the Red Cross as a disaster volunteer was the hardest deployment I have had yet with them.

I was the supervisor for a special needs shelter for the overnight hours of 8 pm until 8 am. The shelter was at a high school in NYC.  For the reason of it being overnight hours and getting only 4 hours a sleep a day during the day, is one reason it was really hard for me.  The other reason was it being a special needs shelter and it was not a Red Cross shelter per se, but a NYC run shelter by Federal and City organizations.   The Red Cross played a supportive role.

As hard as it was physically, mentally and emotionally the hope is.... through the difficult time is that the people that were in the shelter, lives will be changed for the better, forever more.

It is very hard to explain what all occurred, but the people at the shelter with special needs were from two different private facilities in NY, evacuated due to Sandy.

I can not get into all that happened, but let me say... I believe by raising my voice and the other Red Cross day supervisor raising her voice one morning at 4:40am to the City and Federal people, we made a positive difference in all those who were at the shelter!  Things changed immediately!  Also the hope will be a permanent change of those private facilities.

I will tell you, that the first day in NY, about 100 of us Red Cross volunteers went to Staten Island (this was before my placement at the special needs shelter the next day).  After we were there, we heard that Janet Napolitano and many other Federal, Local politicians were going to be there later. 

We began seeing all these huge media satellite trucks pulling up, though I still didn't know there was going to be a major press conference.  I also just thought it was a rumor that Napolitano would be there.

Well, it wasn't a rumor.  I was standing at the area for giving out water and the next thing I knew when I looked up, Napolitano was just a few feet from me.  I got my camera out and took a picture before she turned to come over to me.

Here is the picture of right before she turned to me

Napolitano held out her hand to shake mine.  She asked where I was from and when I told her Tennessee, she said that she had been in Nashville after it flooded.  I had a "shit eating grin" on my face.  I was thinking "OMG, I can't believe I am shaking Napolitano's hand, after all she has done in taking away our rights and the police state we are in."     The FEMA photographer was taking lots of pictures of her and I, but they were not put on the FEMA website.    I replied to Napolitano that "It is about helping the people."  She stared at me and said a couple of times "It is all good, It is all good."

Here are pictures from that day at Staten Island and the "Dog and Pony show news conference" I took.


  1. Thanks for your honest hard work Sherrie ! Glad your blogs are back ! God bless you mightily !

  2. You stared down evil eye to eye. Not many people get to do that and live! LOL!