The Red Cross

There are few American communities which have not, at some period over the past few years, been visited by natural disasters of some type. Similarly, there are few communities in this country which have not seen the American Red Cross –this country’s official agency for relief of disaster victims –in action against those followers of catastrophes –fear, bewilderment, and confusion.
Over the past twelve months, for instance, 129 disasters occurred in 41 states. These included cyclones, cloudbursts, fires, epidemics, explosions, shipwrecks, tornadoes, wind storms, and other catastrophes that inevitably left in their wake homeless, hungry, and sometimes dead or seriously injured victims.
The feeding of these armies of disaster victims constitutes one of the greatest problems periodically faced by the Red Cross disaster relief workers.
In the files of the Red Cross in Washington headquarters are names of hundreds of nutritionists who have expressed their willingness to cooperate with this agency in time of emergency. headed by staff nutrition workers, and medical director, these reserve workers are ready to give instant service, and to work out plans for handling large or small groups with the greatest efficiency.
It’s no small job to organize adequate feeding stations to care for large numbers of disaster victims. It may be that kitchens must be set up at convenient locations over a wide area, or again facilities may be limited to those found in partially destroyed school buildings or churches. Fortunately, at the present time hundreds of Red Cross chapters throughout America are surveying their resources in advance, and in this work nutritionists are playing a large and very important part.
That dentists in this country are actively interested in, and supporting the work of, the organization is demonstrated by an agreement signed early in September between the American Red Cross and the American Dental Association. Plans have been worked out for securing emergency dental care for refugees in large centers. These further include replacement or repair of plates and other artificial dental structures that have been lost or damaged in disaster: surgical treatment of fractured jaws and other injuries of the mouth; and surveys of dental conditions of refugees.
To facilitate selection of representatives of the dental profession the presidents of State Dental Associations will recommend dentists for appointment as dental advisors for Red Cross workers, and the president of the American Dental Association has appointed a National Committee on Cooperation with the Red Cross.
The cooperation so willingly given by both nutritionists and dentists will mean much in the administration of efficient Red Cross relief, as well as the “peace time” duties of the organization.
Membership in the Red Cross is recruited annually during Roll Call which takes place from Armistice Day to Thanksgiving. At this time local chapters throughout the country extend an invitation to everyone to join the organization’s ranks and thus contribute their share in maintaining Red Cross service.