Red Cross helps build resilient community

by Airman 1st Class Zade C. Vadnais, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Although agencies like the 18th Medical Group provide emergency assistance as one part of their mission, Kadena's American Red Cross chapter is dedicated entirely to disaster preparedness and response.

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization chartered by the Department of Defense that provides care to those in need through disaster relief and health and safety services in addition to providing assistance to military members and their families.

"We are here to support the military community in emergency situations," said Nalan Miles, 18th Mission Support Group American Red Cross station manager. "Our core mission is emergency communications and to help build a resilient community."

Miles said having a Red Cross on Kadena is important because they receive frequent calls during emergency situations and are able to respond better and faster than a toll-free number.

The Kadena chapter of the Red Cross supports Kadena, Camp Shields, White Beach, Torii Station and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. From first aid and CPR classes to free typhoon preparedness kits, the Red Cross is dedicated to ensuring members of these communities are prepared for anything, whether it be a raging storm or a choking infant.

Currently, the Red Cross is planning a special CPR class for Spanish-speaking individuals. The class will be held in an effort to increase disaster preparedness, reach as many members of the community as possible and support the Red Cross' goal of building a resilient community.

The Red Cross also offers volunteer opportunities, currently managing about 200 volunteers who put in more than 15,000 man hours last year according to Simone Payne, 18th Mission Support Group American Red Cross station chair. Among these volunteers is a disaster action team, which is called upon if one of the installations supported by Kadena's chapter needs extra support during a natural disaster.

"I think in a military community, especially in a place like Okinawa where people can't work off-base and there aren't a lot of work opportunities, it's a really good way for dependents to get leadership and management experience and still feel engaged with the community," Payne said.

Whether you're interested in learning CPR, becoming a member of the disaster action team or picking up a free typhoon preparedness kit, Kadena's Red Cross chapter can help you contribute to your community's resilience and readiness. Stop by Building 6800, meet the staff and get to know them before you need them.

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