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Hawaii Red Cross Iselle Response: Shelter Resident Story

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"The Red Cross has helped me immensely with everything."

"When the storm got real bad, my neighbor pounded on my door yelling, 'get out, June, get out', and he, his 3 kids and I went to the back bedroom of his house. About a half hour after being in the house, a tree fell on that house and the whole house shook."

June Kantruss, who lives in Nanawale recalls the night of the storm, still shaking her head in disbelief.  "We had to get outside.  The trees were falling around us," she said.  The made their way to another neighbor's house in Nanawale to ride out the storm.  It was impossible to get out of the Nanawale neighborhood because of all of the downed trees and power lines.   

The next day June found her way to a Red Cross Shelter, which at that time was in Hilo.   "They had a cot for me, and meals, and I was grateful to be safe," she said.  "They took good care of me." The Red Cross transferred her and her belongings when the shelter in Pahoa opened.   American Red Cross Health Services volunteer Joy Lovell monitored June's blood pressure and kept an eye on her.  "They even got my medication, because I had to get out of the house quick and didn't have it," June said.

When the Pahoa shelter closed on August 18th, Red Cross client caseworker, Yukie Ohashi, made sure that June had a place to stay, groceries and provisions, clothing and local transportation.  "I don't know what I would have done without them…  The Red Cross has helped me immensely with everything."