PHOENIX (Nov. 4, 2012) – The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter is deploying three more disaster relief workers Monday to provide additional support for Hurricane Sandy, which has prompted what is amounting to be the largest U.S. response by the Red Cross in the past five years.
Volunteer public information officer Michele Maki, of Chandler, is flying to New York, then she’ll report to White Plains to work as a public affairs supervisor and possibly as an emergency response vehicle driver. Volunteer Alan Nemer, of Phoenix, is flying to Newark, N.J., then he’ll head to New Brunswick for logistics and warehousing duties. Yavapai County Emergency Services Specialist Mike Tomkins, of Prescott Valley, is also flying to Newark, and he’s also going to New Brunswick, as a logistics supervisor. Maki has more than 5,000 volunteer hours with the Red Cross since 2006; Nemer has 2,000-plus hours since 2006; and Tomkins joined the Red Cross in August. In total, the Grand Canyon Chapter has deployed 12 people and two ERVs to the East Coast for Sandy relief operations.
An extensive Red Cross feeding operation continues to get hot meals to residents in New Jersey and all five boroughs of New York. More than 10,600 people displaced by Sandy spent Saturday night in 123 shelters, and the Red Cross has recorded 49,000-plus overnight stays since Sandy made landfall last week. The Red Cross has fixed feeding sites in New York and New Jersey, as well as mobile distribution of meals, snacks and water. More than 481,000 meals and snacks have been served by the Red Cross, which also has handed out 33,000-plus relief items and offered 12,000-plus health services and emotional support contacts. The Red Cross has more than 5,000 workers positioned along the East Coast, having utilized its entire fleet of 320-plus ERVs. Sixty trailers of relief supplies, such as personal hygiene items, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks and gloves, reached the East Coast this weekend, and 80,000 more blankets are en route with cold temperatures in the forecast.
Hundreds of Red Cross blood drives have been canceled because of Sandy, resulting in the loss of thousands of blood and platelet products, and there will be more scratched this week. If anyone is eligible to donate in places unaffected by the storm, they’re asked to make an appointment to give blood by visiting www.redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. In addition, financial donations allow the Red Cross to provide food, clothing, shelter and emotional support to those whose lives are altered by disasters like Sandy. Donations can be made at www.redcross.org/donate, by calling 1-800-HELPNOW or by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 for a $10 gift – off your wireless bill.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit www.arizonaredcross.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcrossgcc or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.