Michael Thompson has been the Volunteer Disaster Chairman of the American Red Cross Cape Fear Chapter for nine years and has calmly weathered an unexpected heavy snowfall, hazardous material spills, residential and forest fires and several hurricanes. He has served on the State Disaster Committee, is a Disaster Services Instructor and has served on the Cape Fear Chapter’s Board of Directors. He has balanced the delicate act of assuring service delivery to the chapter’s three counties and established solid working relationships with emergency managers, fire departments and his colleagues in Red Cross chapters across the state.
Over the past nine years, Thompson has trained hundreds of volunteers in “Disaster Services Delivery Policy and Procedures” for this chapter as well as other chapters in the surrounding area. He is committed to the mission of the Red Cross and has given up his vacations on several occasions to serve his community. He also possesses a unique ability to lead, rallying forces within the community to attract and train new volunteers while retaining the experienced ones.
During Hurricanes Bertha, Fran, and Bonnie, Thompson led the chapter’s response efforts, which included sheltering more than 7,000 residents, bulk distribution of water and food and establishing first aid and comfort stations. He provided leadership to other cooperating response agencies in the selection and support of sites for mass care activities and service centers. During these three major weather-related disasters, he worked tirelessly with local disaster volunteers to facilitate the provision of vital products and services to those in need.
To date, Michael Thompson remains a calming force under the intense pressures of crisis situations and continually demonstrates the highest level of leadership to volunteers and paid staff. He is an integral part of the management team of the Cape Fear Chapter of the Red Cross and a leader on the Board of Directors. In 1997, his outstanding volunteer efforts earned him recognition as the first recipient of the Elsie Brannon Volunteer Excellence Award.