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15 More Local Volunteers Deployed to Gulf Coast

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 27, 2012) – The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter is sending 15 more volunteers to the Gulf region, as Tropical Storm Isaac moves from Florida over the Gulf of Mexico, preparing for what could be a large disaster response spanning multiple states.

Red Cross disaster workers are responding throughout the region, providing shelter and help in Florida and preparing to open evacuation shelters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Leaving yesterday and today for Montgomery, Alabama and Orlanda, Florida, are local residents: Robert Hewitt, Bill Wilson and Carolyn Wilson of Vacaville; Marilyn Johnson of Belmont; Belinda Peng of Cupertino; Erik Dirge of Pacifica; Corley Byron of Union City; Nora Ponce of El Sobrante; Karen Newton of Pinole; Jonathan Hammond of Martinez; Thomas Berteenia of Berkeley; Pat Morales of Vallejo; John Parkin of Burlingame and Gary Higgins of Antioch.

The Bay Area Chapter deployed four volunteers last week with a total of 56 volunteers from the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast sent to the Gulf Coast in the last four days.

The Red Cross has deployed more than 1,500 disaster workers across the Gulf Coast, sheltering hundreds of people in Florida over the weekend. Overall, the Red Cross has opened 22 shelters and activated more than 150 emergency response vehicles ready to help.

“The Red Cross is helping people in Florida who are being affected by the storm, and we urge those throughout the state and the Gulf Coast region who are in Isaac’s projected path to take preparedness steps now,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services. “The Red Cross is preparing for what could be a large disaster response across multiple states over the next several weeks.”

HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP Tropical Storm Isaac is predicted to trigger a large and prolonged disaster response with major flooding across several states. People can call, click or text to donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting 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; from a smart phone, visit 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 to learn more. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:

  • Elizabeth Shemaria
  • Cell: (415) 940-3392
  • 24-Hour Media Hotline: (415) 427-8800