When disaster struck the small town of Holden, Massachusetts, it was during one of the coldest months of the year. A treacherous ice storm had brought the town to a halt. With electric thermostats rendered useless, many families were left to huddle together for warmth as temperatures dipped below freezing. In this great time of need, the people of Holden turned to Rebecca Evanoff.
She volunteers as Holden’s Team Director for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and it’s a position she takes very seriously. When that ice storm hit, Rebecca acted as Director of Operations for the CERT run shelter, as well as the liaison officer between the Red Cross, Medical Reserve Corps, Fire Department, and the National Guard.
The shelters Rebecca managed were open 24 hours a day for ten straight days. They housed 65 people and provided meals for 150. The services she offered were key to keeping residents safe while crews worked to restore the town’s power. This all began with Rebecca attending a community meeting about emergency preparedness. Just two years later, Rebecca is leading approximately 30 CERT members both in Holden and the surrounding community.
Her leadership has helped to inspire disaster preparedness teams in neighboring communities. Rebecca puts in an extraordinary amount of time and passion into her position as Team Director. She believes that often, even the most prepared people may need help in the event of an emergency.