Volunteer Mike Hoplight of Niagara Falls will be deploying Friday to assist in the ongoing Superstorm Sandy relief efforts of the American Red Cross for a third time. Hoplight will be flying out of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport at 3pm on his way to Princeton, NJ, where he will work in Government Operations.
Hoplight first deployed three days before Sandy’s landfall in New York State to help lead the Red Cross response, working in both Shelter Management and Government Operations before returning home after 20 days. Following a short, five-day break, Hoplight returned downstate to assist those affected by this devastating storm for an additional 23 days, including Thanksgiving, serving as an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) Manager.
Hoplight has been on more than 15 disaster deployments during more than a decade as a Red Cross volunteer. In September 2011, he served as Shelter Manager at a mega-shelter at SUNY Binghamton that had more than 1,700 residents following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, and in early 2012 Hoplight spent over four months at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan serving as Assistant Station Manager as part of Red Cross Services to Armed Forces.
44 Red Cross volunteers from the Western New York region have deployed to assist in the relief efforts since Sandy devastated the East Coast in late October, and seven of them, including Hoplight, have done multiple deployments. Approximately 1,000 Red Cross workers are still on the ground supporting survivors as longer-term recovery efforts begin. Red Cross caseworkers are working with thousands of people to connect them with resources to help them recover from Sandy’s devastation. In addition, to date the Red Cross has distributed more than 6.7 million relief and clean-up items and provided more than 9.6 million meals and snacks since Sandy came ashore. For more information regarding the Red Cross response to Sandy, please visit www.redcross.org