13 More Local Volunteers Deployed to Sandy Disaster Relief Efforts

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 2, 2012)The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter has sent 13 more volunteers to New Jersey and New York to provide support to those affected by the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. These volunteers join the 16 local volunteers deployed earlier this week. A total of 63 volunteers have been deployed from the Red Cross region covering the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas.

Local residents that were deployed are: Michael Hersher and Neila Waters of San Francisco, Alzinia Pailin and Debbie Yee of Fairfield, Jon Hammond of Martinez, Kathleen Maclay of Orinda, Gregory Smith of Novato, Juanita Hill of Pinole, Belinda Peng of Cupertino, Eva Marquez of Pleasant Hill, and Rex Dillon of Brentwood and James Gaebe and Mary Plummer. They will be assisting with a wide range of activities including feeding, client casework, mental health services, logistics, and IT and volunteer support.

Nearly 6,800 people spent Thursday night in 97 Red Cross shelters across nine states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Ohio. A massive American Red Cross feeding effort is underway in the hardest hit areas, including Long Island, Staten Island and New Jersey. The Red Cross has deployed 12 mobile kitchens each capable of making thousands of meals a day and shipped more than 852,000 ready-to-eat meals. We have served nearly 215,174 meals so far. More than 240 response vehicles, more than two-thirds of the entire Red Cross fleet, are beginning to distribute meals, water, snacks and relief supplies in affected areas. More than 3,800 disaster workers from all over the country are providing help. 60 trailers of relief supplies such as personal hygiene items, clean-up kits, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks and work gloves are mobilized and we have already distributed thousands of relief supplies.

“As we learn about neighborhoods in need, the Red Cross is immediately putting plans in place to provide people with food, water and relief supplies,” said Charley Shimanski, Senior Vice President of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “This is a challenging time for everyone who has been affected by the storm and we want everyone to know that we are doing everything possible to get help to them as quickly as possible.”

FINANCIAL AND BLOOD DONATIONS NEEDED 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.

Approximately 360 Red Cross blood drives in 13 states have already been cancelled due to the storm, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 12,000 units of blood and platelets thus far. The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that people in the affected areas consider donating blood once the storm passes through and it’s safe to do so.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please go to www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

LOOKING FOR LOVED ONES 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 American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter

As a community-based, humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter provides relief to those affected by disasters and empowers individuals in our community to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. By helping people in the Bay Area learn how to take care of their families and neighbors, the Red Cross strengthens the community and makes it ready for all types of disasters, including home fires, earthquakes, wildfires and health emergencies. Call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722) or visit www.redcrossbayarea.org to learn more. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: Pooja Trivedi, Cell: 408-206-6234, Pooja.Trivedi@redcross.org

24-Hour Media Hotline: 415-427-8800