Beech Rec Center to become Red Cross disaster shelter

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Article Published: Nov. 21, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 21, 2013
Beech Rec Center to become Red Cross disaster shelter

From left, Beech Mountain Fire Chief Bob Pudney, Tim Fox, parks and recreation director, Steve Marks, American Red Cross disaster specialist, and Lee T. Wittmann, ARC mass care lead, plan for the special needs of people on electric powered medical devices should a community-wide power outage occur.

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The Beech Mountain Buckeye Recreation Center has become the latest disaster shelter of strategically placed facilities throughout the High Country.

“The Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Department is proud to be part of the American Red Cross Emergency Shelter Program. We have a superb facility that already serves the community’s recreation needs. The fact that we can now serve our community in emergency situations and house, feed and keep residents safe during a disaster just adds to our level of community service,” Tim Fox, Beech Mountain town parks and recreation director, said.

Beech Mountain Fire Chief Robert “Bob” Pudney said that the Red Cross and its local volunteers assist the local fire departments by taking the sheltering responsibility, thereby allowing the volunteer firefighters and emergency medical staff to respond more efficiently to the needs of the community during a disaster.

Steve Marks, disaster services specialist of the American Red Cross, said that shelters are open in the event of a community-wide disaster and all individuals in need of safe and secure accommodations are encourage to take advantage of the services. There is no charge and everyone is welcome.
In the event of a disaster, local media, as well as emergency management, will notify the public of shelter availability.

There is a need for several more volunteers to staff and manage the shelter. Training will be held at the Buckeye Recreation Center at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Contact Lee T. Wittmann at or (828) 260-0060 for more information.

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