Scottsdale partners with Red Cross to deploy emergency services during time of need

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (file photo)

In the event of a natural, technological or man-made emergency or disaster — events that could result in citywide evacuations — Scottsdale City Council is partnering with American Red Cross to help provide vital disaster services.

Approved unanimously on consent in late March is Resolution No. 11379, which translates to a facility use agreement between the municipality of Scottsdale and the American Red Cross.

In the event of a natural, technological or man-made disaster the Horizon Community Center, 15444 N. 100th St. in central Scottsdale, will be used for emergency and disaster-related activities.

“The American Red Cross is recognized as the primary organization delivering relief services during a disaster,” said Brent Olson, Scottsdale emergency manager, in his report to council. “Establishing a no-fee facility use agreement with Red Cross allows them to assume that role in partnership with the city to provide needed services for the benefit of our community.”

According to Mr. Olson, in the event of a disaster, man-made or otherwise, the local government has the responsibility of coordinating disaster and relief services to those in need.

“While many have alternatives if [residents] are forced to evacuate their homes, some would require care and sheltering,” he explained. “If this occurs, it is the responsibility of local government to provide mass care and sheltering services for the safety and wellbeing of its residents.”

Scottsdale resident Leah McCormack will be honored by the American Red Cross Greater Phoenix Chapter with the Clara Barton Volunteer Leadership Award later this year. (Submitted photo)

The assistance of diverse populations is a technical operation, city officials contend.

“Issues related to access and functional needs, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and cultural and religious differences are within the subject matter expertise of Red Cross,” Mr. Olson points out.

“It is not feasible for Red Cross to own and maintain enough facilities throughout the United States to serve as emergency shelters. Partnering with local government to designate facilities easily converted to temporary shelters in case of emergency or disaster allows Red Cross to provide needed emergency aid to survivors displaced by disaster for the direct benefit of the community.”

In the event of an emergency, Mr. Olson, outlines services to be provided at the Horizon Community Center would include:

  • Service center operations: Client services or volunteer intake;
  • Storage of supplies;
  • Parking of vehicles; and
  • Disaster shelter.

In the event of an emergency or disaster, Mr. Olson explains, the Red Cross will, depending on availability, provide a qualified shelter manager, a cadre of Red Cross volunteers, shelter equipment like cots, bedding and disaster support services.

“During a serious emergency or disaster requiring disaster-relief services, the city has the obligation to safeguard life,” Mr. Olson explains. “Partnering with the Red Cross to provide shelter services would limit the use of the designated facility entirely to disaster relief operations for the duration of the emergency or disaster.”

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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