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Local Red Cross Volunteers Deployed to California

Red Cross volunteer helping lady in a shelter

The American Red Cross continues to feed and shelter people in California where authorities have lifted the mandatory evacuation order for almost 200,000 people near the Oroville Dam spillway. While the risk has been reduced, the region is expected to see several inches of rain in the next few days. Red Cross workers will remain in place in the event that anyone has to evacuate their homes again. 

Four volunteers from the Western and Central New York Region are being deployed to impacted areas. Larry Halpern of Brighton, Fairport resident Mark Sennett and Richard Stirpe of Webster are traveling to California to volunteer in shelters. Sharon Tyo of Branchport is deploying there to serve as a government liaison supervisor. 

Local officials have stated that the area remains under an evacuation warning - and that residents need to be ready to leave their homes again if the situation changes. As of Tuesday night, more than 1,500 people remained in 16 Red Cross and community shelters. While many people returned home, some decided to stay in the shelters for now. 

“The Red Cross urges people in this region to get prepared now and remain prepared. As local authorities have said, there's the prospect of another evacuation order if circumstances change – so we encourage everyone to pack an emergency kit and have an evacuation plan ready,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, disaster operations and logistics for the Red Cross. “We are keeping many of our workers there on the ground and many disaster resources in place so that we’re ready to help thousands of people if the need arises.” 

MAKE A DONATION We are thankful to those who would like to donate items for people evacuated in California – but the Red Cross is not equipped to manage, support, and distribute donated items of food, clothing, or household goods. Instead, our priority is to get those affected settled at emergency shelters, and to provide supplies to meet immediate needs. Right now, the best way to help those affected is through a financial donation. The Red Cross depends on donations to prepare for and provide immediate relief from disasters. Help people affected by California floods by visiting calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word CAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.