Bettie Wooten Tussey

Good Night Twitter

The world is mourning the loss of our beloved friend and Humanity Road family member Bettie Wooten Tussey.  Bettie tweeted as @RVAREgal   In January of 2010 Bettie Tussey joined Humanity Road in response to the Haiti earthquake, and our lives were transformed.  When Bettie walked into a room, you noticed.  She was a vivacious, well spoken and true southern lady.  She was known for her wit and straight forward matter of speech. But she was no wilting flower, she didn’t mince words.  Bettie had a master of the english language and knew exactly what she wanted to say.

It was seven years ago this week that Bettie Wooten Tussey reached out to Chris Thompson to help our group of volunteers.  She officially joined Humanity Road on  January 27, 2010. 

In her own words:  When I saw that the earthquake had struck in Haiti, I wanted more information on it and felt the need to do what I could to help. At the time, I was not aware of digital response to disasters but after searching Google, I discovered that help, in the form of needs and meeting those needs, was being done through a number of people on Twitter. I had a Twitter account but had never really used it. I very quickly joined in on searching for needs and tweeting. Shortly thereafter, I saw a tweet from HR (@HumanityRoad) indicating that they were looking for volunteers so I signed up and began tracking needs using the Ushahidi platform that had been established in conjunction with the test to 4636.”  

Bettie Tussey, 5th Year Anniversary interviews in 2015.  You can read the entire interview here

Her work was immediately felt.  She helped with mapping, recruiting, staffing and filling urgent needs.  She helped track down and monitor radio broadcasts as well as worked on solving requests for help.

In the past seven years Bettie helped support disasters around the world, including the Libya crisis map, Christchurch Earthquake, Recover Alabama, Hurricane Irene, School shootings, flooding in USA and many others.  She put in thousands of hours of service and earned the United States President’s Gold Volunteer Service award which was signed and issued to her by President Barack Obama.

Presidential Service Award

Presidential Service Award

Bettie was a thought leader and was known for filling her timelines in social media with sage advice, wit and humor, often sharing the best tips and advice with her digital friends and family.  She was a good friend and treasured member of our Humanity Road family.  Bettie will remain in our hearts forever.  We celebrate her life and want to close today with advice she shared thirty days after the earthquake struck Haiti.  “Goodnight Twitter friends. Sleep tight so that you’ll be ready to lend a helping hand when the sun comes up! :)”   We will Bettie and goodnight to you sweet friend!

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Funeral services will be held on Monday at Woody Funeral Home – Huguenot Chapel Midlothian, Virginia.  Visitation Prior to Service Monday, January 23, 2017 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm with a Memorial Service at 2:00 pm. For those friends who can not make it to the service a guest book digital memorial has been set up online.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Richmond Humane Society, the VCU Alumni Association or Humanity Road.  






Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Let’s make a Disaster Kit to fit your Health Needs

Have you thought about creating a disaster kit?


“Our Goal is that No One Is Left Behind”

The DAFN (Disability, Accessibility, and Functional Needs) Team at Humanity Road would like to invite you to join us in making a Disaster Kit to fit your needs.  During a disaster, people who identify as having disabilities and/or functional needs, along with the very young and the elderly, are especially vulnerable.  Our goal is that “No One Is Left Behind” in being prepared for both Natural or Man-made Disasters, and the first step in doing this is to build your own personalized disaster kit.

Items will be for specific health groups such as the visually impaired, seniors, diabetics and others. We hope that by separating the items by post you will be encouraged to build your kit until it is specific to your needs and your resolution is complete. Please remember these will just be suggestions as to what you may need either when you shelter at home or to fill an emergency bag, which is compact enough to be carried to an evacuation center. Your emergency supplies should last up to 14 days.

Below are listed some item suggestions for different Health needs.

Foundation Items

Tote with a locking lid

We begin with these items which are essential in making any disaster kit:

___  Backpack (depending on needs you may need more than one)

___  Container (tote with a locking lid)

___  Post-A-Note pads

___  Indelible Ink Pen

___  Index Cards

___ Roll of Clear Packing Tape

Containers on wheels are helpful for moving; a suitcase on wheels is an option or your disaster kit could be put in a little wagon.  Creating a disaster kit does not have to be expensive. Remember to check in your pantries, closets, or garage at home, you may find that you have some of the items already on hand.  

Also family and friends may have items they can donate. You may even like to invite a friend to build their kit along with you, when working with someone else it can be fun but also you may learn of things you both hadn’t considered


Hearing Special Need items

___   On Index Cards make list of key phrases for emergency personnel (e.g. “I need an interpreter,” or “I need announcements written or “I speak American Sign Language (ASL)”. Be sure and put these cards in a waterproof zip-lock bag. To protect from moisture.

___  Extra hearing aids, implants and batteries.

___  Extra batteries for visual or sensory alarms, pagers and TTY.

___  Car charger for cell phone and other communication devices.

___  Note pads and pens

___  Alarm clock

___  Hearing aid cleaner

___  Hearing aid drying system

___  Acoustic seal cream

___  Weather Alert Transmitter/Radio, PC Alert device


Mobility Special Need items

___   A pair of heavy gloves to use while wheeling or navigating over glass or other debris.

___  Extra battery for motorized wheelchair/scooter, Lightweight manual wheelchair, if possible.

___  Spare cane, crutches, walker, braces

___  Patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires and/or extra supply of inner tubes.

___  Catheters and Incontinence Supplies, and other personal items.


Seniors Special Needs items

___ Three-day supply of prescription medication and/or a copy of your prescriptions and dosages, including any allergies, Extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.

___ List of the style and serial number of medical devices, such as Pacemakers and or Stents, Walker, Wheelchair, Canes, Hearing Aids.

___ Extra Wheelchair battery, Oxygen, Hearing Aids and Batteries, Denture Cup and Denture Cleaner.

___ Incontinence supplies and other personal items, Deck of cards, Pad of Paper and Pencil, Snacks, Drinks like Ensure.


Visually Impaired Special Needs Items

___ List of medications if needed. If helpful, mark emergency supplies with large print, fluorescent tape or Braille.

___ Extra folding white cane, in case your dog is injured and can’t work.Tape Recorder and extra batteries.

___ An extra pair of dark glasses (if medically required) or you use them normally. Extra contacts, contact lens solution, spare eye glasses in case you can’t wear your contacts. If you wear Soft Contact Lenses, plan to have an alternative available because you will not be able to operate the cleaning unit without power.