Today, we start a new series called “Nice to Meet You” in which we will introduce you to staff members from the Nebraska-Iowa Region of the American Red Cross through informative and fun Q&As.
First up, meet Mycaela Crouse, a Regional Preparedness and Logistics Manager for the American Red Cross of Nebraska and Iowa. She’s an upbeat Iowa native who is ready to face the next disaster.
Q: What does your title mean?
A: Preparedness and logistics are very different disciplines. Preparedness is helping youth, adults, businesses and communities be ready for a disaster. Logistics is making sure people and resources are in the right places to help people.
Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?
A: I’ve been with the Red Cross a total of 12 years, with nine of those as a volunteer.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love working with an incredible team of volunteers and amazing co-workers, and knowing that my work makes a difference in people’s lives.
Q: What do you listen to during the workday?
A: I usually have music playing, although the genre changes almost every day. But, the most constant background sounds are my animals meowing or barking and the tractors driving in the fields outside my window.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
A: I read anything I can get my hands on, run with my dog and fix up the old farmhouse my husband and I recently moved in to.
Q: What is the first thing you want to do when the pandemic is over?
A: I want to watch a movie in a theater with all my friends.
Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?
A: I was really surprised by how many people are willing to serve as volunteers. People volunteer even if they were affected by the disaster as well. When I was in North Carolina after a hurricane, we had a line of people show up to be trained and help others. I met a Red Cross volunteer, who, despite her house being underwater, was working as a Red Cross liaison with the local government and volunteered in a shelter. She was just amazing.
Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?
A: Seeing how many people in my community benefit from our services really opened my eyes. When I first joined, I was under 18 and too young to be in the field. They had me entering in a backlog of forms into the electronic system. These forms capture the support people needed and were given. I got to see, in plain numbers, how many people in my Iowa hometown had received disaster support. It changed my whole career path.
Q: What do you wish people knew about working at the Red Cross?
A: In Disaster Cycle Services, sometimes it’s a physically exhausting and emotionally draining job. But, for me at least, it’s always, always worth the support we’re offering to those in need. You just can’t beat the feeling of teaching a child about fire safety, and they get excited telling you they’re going to go straight home and check all their smoke alarms. It's pretty great, knowing that at least that one family is a little safer because of your efforts.