Red Cross volunteer deploys to West Virginia for cooling shelter aid

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The American Red Cross Adirondack-Saratoga Chapter will deploy a local volunteer to West Virginia tomorrow morning to assist with the Red Cross sheltering operations set in place after thunderstorms in the Mid-Atlantic caused widespread damage and left millions without power this past weekend.

Kristen Gordon of Glens Falls, NY will be assigned as a shelter manager in Parkersburg, W. Va. for the next two to three weeks (if necessary). Gordon has been a Red Cross volunteer for three years and will assist with the current sheltering operations in North Central West Virginia. There are currently four Red Cross shelters open throughout the state.

"Kristen has gained a lot of experience in sheltering, and I'm confident that she will put that to good use in West Virginia," said Tim Bachman, Emergency Services Director for the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region. Gordon has responded to Red Cross shelters opened in Dutchess County (October 2011 snowstorm), Binghamton (Tropical Storm Lee flooding in September 2011), the Capital Region (Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee September 2011 flooding) and Plattsburgh (Lake Champlain flooding in May 2011) over the last year.

HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP - Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 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 the local Red Cross chapter.

For more information please visit www.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/ny/albany.