PHOENIX (Aug. 28, 2012) – Three American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter volunteers have deployed to Florida, two have gone to Alabama and one is going to Texas to provide assistance for Hurricane Isaac, which has been upgraded from a tropical storm as it nears the northern Gulf Coast.
Kathleen Tanner, 60, of Gold Canyon, departs Phoenix on Tuesday for Houston, David Curtis, 55, of Camp Verde, and Tom Jacobs, 65, of Flagstaff, took off Monday for Montgomery, Ala., and leaving last week for Orlando, Fla., were Vic Hencken, 64, of Prescott; Regina Crandall, 48, of Maricopa; and Larry Webb, 63, of Chandler. Hencken is there as a job deputy director; Tanner will be stationed in shelters; Curtis and Jacobs are charged with supplying meals from Emergency Response Vehicles in storm-battered areas; and Crandall and Webb are both serving as disaster assessment workers.
A retired fire chief, Curtis has logged more than 1,000 volunteer hours with the Red Cross since he started in 2009. He services Flagstaff as a Disaster Action Team member, a position he also held out of Prescott. Jacobs has been with the Red Cross since 2002, typically dispatching with his wife, Anne Johnson. He responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and to the Colorado wildfires in June. Hencken has volunteered for the Red Cross with his wife, Flo, for the past 11 years. He’s certified as a shelter manager and as an ERV driver, and in addition to working Hurricane Katrina, he was there for the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and for Hurricane Ike in 2008. Like Curtis, Webb began with the Red Cross in 2009, and as a DAT member stationed in the East Valley, he responded to flooding last year in Memphis, Tenn., and to wildfires in Montana this summer. It’s the first national deployment for Crandall, a Pinal County DAT member who joined the Red Cross last August, as well as for Tanner, an East Valley DAT member who started with the Red Cross with her husband, Michael, in January.
With maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, Isaac is about 135 miles southeast of New Orleans, and it’s forecast to reach the southeastern Louisiana coastline as early as Tuesday night, according to projections by the National Hurricane Center. Isaac probably will hit as a Category 1 hurricane, and with additional strengthening anticipated until landfall, a significant storm surge and flood threat from heavy rain could impact millions of people from Morgan City, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama border.
About 2,400 Red Cross disaster relief workers have been called. The Red Cross has opened 52 shelters in five states, with almost 800 people spending Monday night in them, and more shelters could open later Tuesday. It also has arranged for 290,000 ready-to-eat meals, mobile kitchens and truckloads of relief supplies; secured more than 50 trailers with supplies; and activated 187 ERVs.
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.