Countywide disaster action team formed

Keith Goldstein, President of the St. Augustine Shores Emergency Response Team, asked Historic City News today if we would help them to reach out to the community for help and support under very trying times.

The St. Augustine Shores Emergency Response Team (SASERT) and the Northeast Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross have announced the formation of a countywide disaster action team.

A disaster action team prepares for and responds to disasters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Always on call, D.A.T. volunteers provide disaster relief to meet the emergency needs of victims of hurricanes, house fires, storms, floods, and other man-made disasters.

Assistance needed by victims is evaluated by case workers and may include shelter, food, clothing, emotional support, prescription medications, and other critically needed items.

“Working with the guidance of the Red Cross will enable us to fulfill our mission of assuring that St. John’s County residents are protected in the event of all emergencies, both personal and county wide.” stated Keith Goldstein,

“When Disaster Director Bill Dion of the Northeast Florida Red Cross and I first spoke I could feel the urgency in his voice of creating a program such as this.”

Tropical Storm Fay should have been a wake-up call and Gustav is the real deal! Resources are being stretched thin and we as a community need to become better prepared. We have a local Red Cross Chapter here in St. Augustine and I am personally concerned that not enough people are aware of their current needs.

All of our residents can volunteer to assist in some capacity. There are jobs available for all ages. Not all volunteer opportunities require physical efforts. Residents willing to work the phone banks, shelter management and damage assessment are desperately needed now.

Goldstein said, “If we can pull in volunteer support from throughout the county we will all be in better shape.”

If you can make the time to assist your community in any capacity or would like to donate to this very worthwhile cause then please call Keith Goldstein at (904) 797-4115 or B. J. Jones with the St. Johns Chapter of the Northeast Florida Red Cross at (904) 797-3851.