Plaskett, lawmakers meet with American Red Cross

On Capitol Hill Wednesday, federal lawmakers from the Caribbean met with officials from the American Red Cross.

It’s part of the Red Cross’s Emergency Preparedness Month. Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) and Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-Puerto Rico) discussed what they have learned since Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and most recently Hurricane Dorian. They’re working closely to develop more grassroots strategies for future disaster recovery efforts, and that starts with better communication with lawmakers and federal officials on the ground.

“We do have coordination calls with some of the Congressional reps and their staffers to help inform them of what’s going on,” said Anne Palmer of the American Red Cross.

“Hurricane Dorian, when it sniped through the Virgin Islands, the Red Cross was there manning emergency sheltering places and supporting governments in the Virgin Islands and elsewhere around the world,” Plaskett said.

The two sides also talked about coordinating volunteers on the ground. Volunteers make up 90 percent of the Red Cross’s workforce, Palmer said.