Monday, August 18, 2008

Photos of our last job

I finally uploaded the pictures from our camera and thought a few photos would be a nice change here.

This is all the equipment we used at the headquarters for the Dolly relief effort. Usually we ship it all via FedEx, but because we were fairly close to Austin, TX, we loaded it ourselves onto a box truck and one of our guys, David, drove it back. Austin is where the DSMC, a giant warehouse full of Red Cross electronics, is located.

It was difficult to get a good angle inside the truck to capture how much stuff this represents. The orange box in the middle is about the size of a large suitcase, and the black cases are about the size of a steamer trunk. They are piled four high, and each weighs between 20 and 50 pounds. Our heaviest items weigh close to 150 lbs. Six of us loaded this truck in the "cool" morning temperatures of over 90 degrees.

You can see that all that hot lifting took a toll on our seventh guy, Hueso. He wasn't much help at all. David reported that when the truck was inspected by the Border Patrol between Mercedes and Austin, Hueso's paperwork was not in order. Seems he left Austin without his Death Certificate. Fortunately, he has an official DSMC photo ID and they let him through without a body cavity search.

Here's most of the Dolly Disaster Services Technology gang at work in our corner of HQ. Usually there aren't so many of us standing around, but this was during the one or two slow days in the middle of an operation. For a brief few days, we are neither building an HQ nor tearing it down and we can relax just a little. Our boss, Gene, in the red shirt, usually looks more intelligent than this photo portrays him. This is, however, a very typical photo of me: mouth open, hands waving, talking up a storm.

These last two photos represent why we do it: thank you posters from our clients. These were created at a Red Cross shelter and then brought to HQ to share with the staff. Since the Technology department rarely interacts with clients, they are especially meaningful to me. They are reminders that at the end of the day, real people suffer losses from storms, floods and fires, and that our food, water and shelter can give them a little support and hope. Sometimes I get caught up in the hurly-burly of HQ and start thinking too much in terms of wires, computers and cell phones. The real work happens out in the field, face to face with tired, hungry folks. I am proud to be "in the rear with the gear," to support our staff members who do that hard work. You guys are the best!

1 comment:

  1. I read your blog daily and felt compelled to comment on the Red Cross. We were visited here in East Texas by Hurricane Rita nearly 3 years ago. We had no power, no water, no gas, no Walmart (22 miles away) for many days. The Red Cross sent canned water, truck loads of ice, and boxes of food HERE to our little bitty 4 way stop town. They were a God send. I had never imagined that we would ever need the Red Cross, but were so thankful they were there. We were able to open our school 2 weeks after the storm, but many of my students had no power or water for many weeks. Thanks for all you do. Sue


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