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Eagles Unveil International Disaster Relief Unit
Alexandria FOE # 1771 217 E. Cleveland Street P O Box 88 Alexandria, IN 46001 Phone (765) 724-7320
Volunteers pack supplies for the disaster relief trailer.
Living up to the Eagles motto of "People Helping People," the Alexandria Eagles Aerie #1771 debuted the first International Disaster Relief Unit in a program designed to see similar units stationed throughout the United States and Canada.
"We were at the National Convention in Florida last July when the idea was proposed and we quickly volunteered to create the first unit in the program," said longtime Alexandria Eagles secretary Maurice Mehling.
The 48-foot long semi trailer is designed as a first responder unit in disaster situations such as 911 and Hurricane Katrina. It is crammed full of medical and survival supplies to probide immediate attention to disaster victims while they await the arrival of more intensive care.
The trailer contains 2,100 packages -- 1,500 for adults and 600 for children -- providing each with three days' worth of survival necessities including water, food rations, first aid supplies, and toiletries.
There is also a 15-foot by 30-foot reusable field tent, six 8-foot folding tables, six folding chairs, six camp style cots with blankets, a propane gas cook stove, two propane tanks, four ice chests, a 3KW generator, extension cords, construction lights, tools, 100 poly tarps, 200 wooden stakes, 5,000 feet of rope, and a variety of other supplies.
Once the trailer is emptied, it can be used to treat the injured or for other purposes as deemed necessary.
The trailer will be under the supervision of the national organization, and will rely on local Eagles members for transportation to the deployment area, where it will be set up by Eagles members from the specific area.
The dedication event was the first of several things planned by the local organization in celebration of the Eagles Aeries 1771 100th anniversary in April. The Alexandria Aeris is home to nearly 1,340 members, with a ladies auxiliary of 876 members.
The Eagles donate more than $50,000 annually to local police, Madison County Special Olympics, high school scholarships, and international F.O.E. charities including heart, cancer, and kidney research.
(This article was reported by Randy Chambers and originally appeared on February 13, 2008 in the Alexandria Times - Tribune.)