Karin Vickers recalls flying in for her volunteer service in Southern California saying, "When we flew in, I saw the fire, it was night time and you could see the fire down below as you were flying in, it was still going. I came in on a Sunday night I guess. And, you could smell the smoke, even in the airlplane, which was really weird."
It was the smoke from massive wild fires that wiped out more than 1500 homes. It was a disaster so big, that relief had to be sent from around the nation. Chris Floyd, director of Capital Chapter Red Cross says experiencing disasters on this scale is what will prepare our volunteers for disasters locally.
Floyd says, "Their going to bring a world of experience back here. It's going help us when we gear up to respond to a hurricane or a tornado or a wildfire our selves. It's going to make our response that much more professional."
And besides the great experience, Karin could not go to California with out running into celebrities. Karin said, "I got a chance to chat with Arnold for a good ten minutes and that made my day and then president bush came out an he had me under one arm and another red cross worker under another. And we chatted for about ten minutes, you know, just like the guy next door!"
The service station Karin worked in San Diego served over five hundred people. And most of them who lost their homes said they would rebuild on the same site. The Capital Area Red Cross was one of hundreds of organizations around the nation sent to California for relief.