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Road Rules – Rule 15

Who: Christine Baker (cmarieb@msn.com), casework supervisor, American National Red Cross

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Home Base: Phoenix, Arizona

Mileage: 10,000 miles a year

Favorite Destination: U.S. Virgin Islands

Don’t Leave Home Without: A small Crock-Pot

“The Red Cross is really visible during a disaster, when it’s providing victims with mass care, food, and housing. I don’t get called in until after a disaster, when families start to rebuild. This year, I’ve been in Grand Forks, North Dakota for seven months. I’ve been home for only nine days. So the issue is not how often I travel but how long I stay once I get there.”

“That’s why I travel heavy — and light. I pack what I think I will need in a box and ship it ahead of time so that it’s there when I arrive. I also pack additional boxes before I leave. That way, they’re ready to be sent if I need what’s in them. My family ships the boxes to me throughout my long stay. When I get a box in the mail, I unpack it right away and put everything in the hotel room’s drawers and closet. Then I immediately pack up what I haven’t used in the past few weeks and send it back to my family in the same box that I just unpacked.”

“When I started working for the Red Cross, I never dreamed I’d be gone as much as I am. So I try to turn my hotel room into my home. I reorganize and decorate it with knickknacks and candles, just as I would if I were home. During the 1993 Mississippi River floods, I was on assignment for 11 months! The whole time, I’d been buying new stuff: clothes, books, souvenirs. I had to ship five boxes home. When I finally got back to Arizona, it was just like Christmas.”

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