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Additional Allen County Red Cross volunteers deployed to Hurricane Sandy

The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross is asking people to help with relief efforts.

Four more volunteers from the southern counties of the Northwest Ohio Region of the American Red Cross have been deployed to New Jersey, prepared to help with relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Colleen and Richard Bekemeier of Wapakoneta, Jean Schroeder of Ottawa and Rodney Knauss of Van Wert left from the Allen County Chapter at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, heading for Ocean, N.J. They will help at Red Cross shelters.

Over the weekened Tim “Bo” McComas of Lima left Saturday morning, driving an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to New Jersey with Port Clinton volunteer Larry Coats from the Northwest Ohio Region of the Red Cross. ERVs are used to distribute food and supplies to neighborhoods affected by a disaster. Steve Newman of Lima got a flight out Sunday morning ahead of the storm, and helped with sheltering in Baltimore, Md. Newman, McComas and Schroeder were also deployed during Hurricane Isaac in August.

“Having a trained, prepared, and ready-to-help team of volunteers is one of the most valuable resources a community can rely on when disaster strikes,” said Brenda Mead, Emergency Services Manager for the Red Cross in southern counties of the Northwest Ohio Region. “We are grateful for the dedication of our chapter volunteers and their willingness to help wherever there is need.”

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, almost 11,000 people spent Monday night in more than 250 Red Cross shelters across 16 states. The Red Cross is helping people with safe shelter, food and water and a shoulder to lean on. The Red Cross has mobilized 1,700 disaster workers from all over the country who have served more than 25,000 meals and snacks so far. It has also activated 167 response vehicles and shipped in more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals.

The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross is asking people to help with relief efforts. To donate visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Monetary gifts enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Nearly 300 Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled due to the storm, and more are expected. This represents a loss of as many as 9,000 blood and platelet products. The Red Cross is asking people who are eligible to give blood especially in places not affected by the storm, to schedule a blood donation now.

To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them.

The Red Cross shipped blood products to hospitals in affected areas ahead of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather.