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11 Local Volunteers Deployed to Florida

SAN JOSE, CA (August 24, 2012)The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter is sending 11 volunteers to Miami,Tampa and Orlando, Florida to help as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to move through the Caribbean with possible landfall in Florida on Sunday or Monday.

Leaving today are local residents: George Smith of Los Gatos, Margaret Erk of Saratoga, Mohammad Ghandehari of Morgan Hill, Agnes Ternasky of Gilroy, Rada Ford of Mountain View, Karl Matzke of Palo Alto and Paul Weese, Stephanie Wilde, Margaret McDonald, Gary Pelton and Janette Huber of San Jose.

Temasky and Ford will provide counseling and emotional support. Weese will be supervising a team of Emergency Response Vehicle drivers. Erk, Ghandehari, Huber, McDonald, Wilde and Matzke will be working in shelters, caring for those who have been evacuated. Pelton and Smith will be assessing damages and planning. These locally trained volunteers will be on disaster assignment for two to three weeks and most have been on disaster assignment before.

The American Red Cross is preparing to open dozens of shelters across Florida, and moving hundreds of trained disaster workers into the state. There are 22 Red Cross emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 more are moving into the state in advance of the storm with an additional 78 on stand-by if needed. The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies to send to Florida and Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship emergency supplies if necessary.

“As Isaac travels northward, we’re getting ready to help people in Florida,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services. “We urge folks who may be in the path of this storm to get prepared too – to check their emergency supplies, finalize their hurricane plans, and listen closely to local officials for updates on the storm.”

HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Red Cross Safe and Well website is also available. People 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 one’s local Red Cross chapter.

About the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter

The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Clara County residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at www.redcross.org/siliconvalley or call us at 1-877-727-6771. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.