What should I take with me as a Red Cross volunteer?
October 28, 2005 6:37 PM   Subscribe

So, on Tuesday, the Red Cross is deploying me to the gulf coast for three weeks to assist in their ongoing hurricane relief efforts there. What should I bring with me?

I'm most interested in hearing from people who've done this sort of thing before. What did you find came in handy? What did you wish you had taken with you? What did you wish you hadn't brought? All suggestions welcome. (And, yes, I have seen this question, which has some good hints, but doesn't quite tell me what to bring other than plenty of smokes....)
posted by dersins to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total)
For working in bad conditions and backpacking, I always make sure I've got polypro underwear and socks with me, Patagonia Capilene briefs and Thorlo socksare my favorite. Make sure you have a good knife and multi tool and few water bottles, bring a couple boxes of granola bars, power bars, or something dense to keep in your pockets for long days. A good pair of boots. A box of moist toilet wipes are always handy. A couple of books, a box of spenco second skin blister care stuff, a bandana, and a bag of candy (esp if you are being fed onsite). A nice set of leather workgloves, sunglasses, and deet mosquito repellent.
posted by tumble at 6:54 PM on October 28, 2005

Lots of underwear and socks. A poncho liner to sleep under. A lockable bag, with some kind of lock you can use to secure the bag to something heavy. A camera to get some pics of your coworkers, etc. On shoes, I would go with comfort first. You'll be on your feet all day, but probably not doing super-adventurous stuff. A hat that shades the neck.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:50 PM on October 28, 2005

My first step would be to look for general world travel backpacking pack lists. They have served me well wherever I have been. If you will be moving around all day, a comfortable medium sized day pack is essential, I find it really helpful to have plenty of pockets on the outside for easy access. Specific items I have found invaluable: hand sanitizer. Leatherman Wave, needles, needle-tip tweezers, sunscreen, sunburn cream, camelback style water bladder, snacks, comfy gloves, microfiber underwear, microfiber towel, clothes for comfort over appearance, clothes you can layer, earplugs, shoes that dry quickly. Tools to document your experience: camera, journal, mini-disk recorder. And one I consider invaluable: a statement you write to yourself the night before you leave documenting why you are doing this, and what you want to accomplish, both for posterity and when the going gets tough.
posted by worstkidever at 8:05 PM on October 28, 2005

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