Weather Forecast


Local Red Cross chapter conducts disaster drill

Red Cross volunteers John Trieb of Hudson, left, and Erick Nikolai, the drill coordinator, get information from volunteers role-playing as disaster victims.

The St. Croix Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross recently conducted a disaster drill to prepare about 60 staff and volunteers for emergencies.

The flood disaster scenario took place May 15 at Bethel Highlands Lutheran Church in the town of Hudson.

The drill was intended to train Red Cross disaster response personnel and to alert the public to services offered during local disasters such as floods, tornadoes and residential fires.

Various functions of the chapter's disaster team were activated to provide specialized services to scripted, role-playing clients.

The services included assessing and providing for clients' needs, providing health care and mental health care, sheltering, feeding and providing material support services.

Volunteers from the St. Croix County Amateur Radio Club assisted with two-way communications between the shelter and remote sites.

According to Eric Nikolai, Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer and coordinator for the drill, "This was a great learning opportunity. We have a written emergency operations plan for handling emergencies but hands on realistic simulations like this bring that plan to life. I want to thank all who participated especially, the staff at Bethel Highlands Church who helped to make this day happen."

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to the Red Cross.

The St. Croix Valley Chapter serves the Wisconsin counties of St. Croix and Polk, plus eastern Washington County, Minn.

For information about services and volunteer opportunities go to or call (715) 485-3025 or (651) 439-0031.