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Tuesday, October 17, 2017
HomeBriefsHeads and Tails: Alaskans in Texas to help after Harvey

Heads and Tails: Alaskans in Texas to help after Harvey

The Alaska National Guard has responded to the call and is actively engaged in rescue and recovery following Hurricane Harvey.

A 16-person team from the Alaska and California Air National Guard continue to provide support to the city of Vidor, Texas. As water levels begin to fall the mission has shifted focus to identifying the emergency and critical needs of the community.

Teams from the Alaska’s 212th Rescue Squadron and California’s 129th Rescue Wing were going door-to-door to conduct health and welfare checks and gather information on critical items. They also are providing paramedic care if needed. Teams were also operating out of the Orange County Emergency District Number 1 Fire Station responding to emergency medical calls.

Watch Sept. 1 video by Anchorage National Guard specialist Belinda O’Neal Dresel.

Belinda O’Neal Dresel, public affairs staff sergeant, Alaska National Guard, and videographer.

On the civilian side, Anchorage resident Renata Hoskins and three others from Alaska have been deployed as Red Cross volunteers to Texas this week providing help in response to Hurricane Harvey devastation.

Renata Hoskins, Red Cross volunteer

Hoskins is a finance and statistical information specialist. Her role will be to gather and track information to make sure materials are where they need to be. It’s her first deployment as a Red Cross volunteer. Hoskins is better known in Alaska for her dog and puppy rescue work.

Must Read Alaska is reporting from “somewhere in Texas” this weekend on family duty.

WANT TO HELP? Houston’s worst-ever flood is going to get worst-er. Stay away for the next few weeks, unless you’re with an aid organization. Updates from The Houston Chronicle

To help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, text HARVEY to 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross. Or visit RedCross.org to give any other amount. Red Cross provides emergency aid.

Samaritan’s Purse is moving into Houston as conditions allow. Donate here. Samaritan’s Purse provides disaster relief to those in immediate physical need. It is a Must Read Alaska-recommended organization.

To use your skills as a volunteer, visit National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster, NVOAD.org. This is the gold standard for disaster volunteering.

BUZZ KILL 1: Well, this is not good. We’re ranked 50th for economic investment, according to a U.S. News story. While the rest of the country has come out of the Great Recession, Alaska has headed the opposite direction. But Must Read Alaska readers already knew that.

BUZZ KILL II: Some good reporting by the Alaska Dispatch News doesn’t sugarcoat the poor educational outcomes in Alaska schools. Short version: More than 60 percent of Alaska’s public school students who took this year’s statewide standardized tests failed to meet grade-level academic standards in English language and math. This, in spite of the fact that Alaska public schools are among the highest funded in the nation. See Buzz Kill 1 for the predictable outcome.

YOUR LABOR DAY DATA: Anchorage has gained 800 jobs this year, which is a .4 percent increase, and Fairbanks has lost 600 jobs, a 1.5 percent decrease, year-over-year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Anchorage building permits increased 4 percent over last year.
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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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