The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

Red Cross warehouse in Arlington provides supplies when disaster hits

Pre-made kits ready to go at a moment’s notice
Joel Solis
Red Cross North Texas regional manager Joel Moore walks by pallets on March 27 at American Red Cross Arlington. The pallets consist a variety of kits such as wildfire, kitchen and comfort kits.

ARLINGTON, Texas—Whether it’s a tornado, flooding or a single-family home fire, Americans have grown accustomed to the sight of American Red Cross relief efforts.

Those efforts are supplied by large warehouses, much like the one the American Red Cross operates at 4925 New York Ave. in Arlington.

This facility supplies emergency kits to people in need after a disaster.

Joel Moore is a volunteer and manager of the North Texas Regional Warehouse for the American Red Cross.  This organization is responsible for sending emergency kits to disaster areas all over North Texas.

“The region is everything from Amarillo to Longview, to San Angelo and north,” Moore said.

They are responsible for sending the supplies, and another organization helps the people directly.

“We got Disaster Cycle services,” Moore said. “They’ve got the people that are trained to go out and feed, to do counseling, health services, trying to get the client back on their feet.”

The 165,000 square-foot warehouse can handle 15,000 pallets full of supplies, ready to go at a moment’s notice.  These supplies are divided into pre-made kits such as clean-up kits, comfort kits, kitchen kits and wildfire support kits.

Pallets of kits sit on racks March 27 at American Red Cross Arlington. The warehouse can hold around 15,000 pallets worth of supplies.

In addition, there are shelter pallets for an 800-person shelter.

“They don’t need to tell us all the individual pieces,” Moore said. “It’s already been pre-defined.  And we’ve got it sitting on the floor, ready to go.”

These kits include needed supplies such as squeegees, mops, buckets, blankets, cots, pre-made meals and water.  The infant care kit includes diapers, wipes and a padded box that can be used as a crib. When the order goes out, the warehouse team quickly loads the requested supplies into waiting trailers.

In addition to the kits, the warehouse also has wooden-box sifters that are useful for sifting through ashes after a fire.  There were some sifters from volunteers in California who had written encouraging words on the sides of the boxes, such as “Good luck” and “Thank you.”

The American Red Cross responds to disasters all over the United States, as well as its territories, including Guam and Puerto Rico. These disasters might include hurricanes, tornadoes or even single-family home fires.

The Red Cross ranks the disasters from 1 to 7. A single-family home fire would be a 1 or 2, whereas a major hurricane would be a 7.

“There are factors that build it up,” Regional Communication Manager Doyle Rader said. “Either like, scope of the damage, the cost of the disaster, and stuff like that.”

Last year, the warehouse responded to the wildfires in Hawaii.  Warehouse workers sent the needed supplies and Rader was among the team members sent to allocate the emergency kits.  In 2023, a tornado struck in the top of the Panhandle and then another in Matador, Texas.  The team also responded to these emergencies with needed supplies.

The supplies come from different vendors, particularly Precise Kit in New York.

“We have a purchasing department in North Carolina that puts out for bids,” Moore said.

The American Red Cross purchases the supplies and sends them to the warehouse.  Recently, they are promoting recycled or compostable products to help with the environment. Their blankets are made out of recycled plastic bottles, and they are switching from foam cups to compostable.

Red Cross trailers sit outside the warehouse on March 27 at American Red Cross Arlington. Each trailer holds various supplies ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
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