On what is normally a day of Halloween festivities, the Mt. Rainier Red Cross team has been prepping and deploying volunteers to head east to respond to the multiple states devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
So far, more than 9,000 people spent Tuesday night in 171 Red Cross shelters in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Indiana, and Ohio.
“This response to Sandy is just getting started. The storm has left devastation in its wake and we will be helping people for weeks to come,” said Tracy Peacock, Mount Rainier Red Cross Chapter Executive. “This will be very costly and the Red Cross needs help now. We ask everyone to support us as we help people recover from this massive storm.”
One of the first local volunteers from Western Washington, a Shelter Supervisor from Thurston County, was deployed last Friday to Pennsylvania. This week the Mount Rainier Red Cross Chapter has deployed eight volunteers so far.
Red Cross Volunteers will work long days for several weeks to provide shelter, food, first aid, and emotional support. Alena Golubkova, Casework Coordinator for the Mount Rainier Chapter of the Red Cross, will be flying to Brunswick, New Jersey Thursday. Golubkova flies out from Sea-Tac Airport at 6:39 a.m. to help provide food to those affected by the hurricane. Dr. Tobi Buckman will be deploying from Grays Harbor County to provide Disaster Mental Health Services. Buckman will be flying out Thursday at 11:10 p.m. from Sea-Tac Airport to White Plains, New York.
HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP
Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. To make a donation locally, people can call the Mount Rainier Chapter at 253-474-0400. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the Mt. Rainier Chapter at 1235 South Tacoma Way Tacoma, WA 98409 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
HOW TO FIND RED CROSS SHELTERS
People who have been forced to evacuate can find out where Red Cross shelters are open by going to www.redcross.org or accessing the free Red Cross phone app. Both are refreshed with updated information every 30 minutes. Residents can also monitor local media—radio, newspaper and television—to find out where local shelters are located.
REGISTER ON SAFE AND WELL The Red Cross Safe and Well website is also available. People affected by the fires and flooding can access the site and let loved ones know where they are. There are several ways to register on Safe and Well, or search for a loved one. From a computer, visit redcross.org; from a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected with one’s local Red Cross chapter.