KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 2/21/10, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Jennifer Tersigni, Chief Development Officer, American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter. Every 2 to 3 days, the American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter is called to assist children and families who have lost their home to a house fire, flood, or other devastation.

Tersigni says Red Cross relief supplies continue to arrive, and more food, water and relief supplies are reaching survivors in Haiti's capital city and outlying areas, although the needs remain great. She says the American Red Cross and its partners are now producing almost 1 million litres of water per day, enough for 185,000 people to receive 5.4 litres per person per day. 

Tersigni says Whatever the cause, disasters are catastrophic for the victims, whether the disaster is a house fire that affects one family, or a flood that affects hundreds of people.  She says the Red Cross provides immediate help during times of crisis, such as comfort kits for personal hygiene, emergency shelter, food, clothing, and appropriate financial assistance. She says Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DAT) are made up entirely of volunteers.

Tersigni says the Southern Arizona Chapter responds to a call every 10 hours from local military families. She says assistance is provided to those whose loved ones are deployed abroad, and service men and women stationed at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca, and other local bases. She says through the SAF program, the Red Cross sends and relays emergency messages to and from family members and deployed military personnel anywhere in the world, and verifies and confirms medical emergencies so that Commanding Officers can authorize emergency leave for military personnel. She says this service is provided in peacetime and war.