Red Cross Volunteer Winnie Romeril from Steuben County, deployed to the Philippines Wednesday, January 29th. Romeril will help in relief efforts from the Typhoon Haiyan). Haiyan struck in November of 2013 less than a month after an Earthquake struck parts of the same region. It was the strongest storm ever recorded, killing more than 6,000 people and displaced 4 million people. More than 21,000 remain in shelters.
Winnie will be monitoring and evaluating relief efforts in and around Tacloban, a city on Leyte island which suffered the most devastation as a result of the Typhoon. She will also be helping to distribute non-food items such as clothing, blankets and hygiene kits which have had trouble reaching those most in need due to high seas and unstable weather since the Typhoon hit.
Romeril after last deployed in 2010 when she traveled to Haiti to help with relief efforts after a devastating earthquake there. The Typhoon in the Philippines destroyed or damaged 6 times as many houses as the Haiti earthquake. This will be Winnie’s first deployment to the Philippines. She did travel to Sri Lanka and Maldives, two other island nations in South East Asia after the 2004 Tsunami as well as deploying to Indonesia before that trip. Winnie has also deployed in the United Stations to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, tornadoes in Indiana and locally at house fires in her neighborhood.
Winnie joined the Red Cross International Disaster Team after the Mexican Red Cross saved her life years ago. She is a flight paramedic for Mercy Flight Central in Canandaigua. She lives in Prattsburgh with her husband Dave, a counselor for the Steuben County Mental Health Department. Upon his retirement, Dave hopes to join Winnie in responding to disasters.