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More Local Volunteers Deployed to Gulf Region

SANTA CRUZ, CA (August 27, 2012) – The American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter is sending five 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, are local residents: Mark Willig of Felton, Kylie Bilbrey, Violet Ramirez and Tim Epps of Santa Cruz and Howard Evans of Hollister.

The Santa Cruz County Chapter deployed nine 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 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/safe-and-well or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected with one’s local Red Cross chapter.

About American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter

The American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Cruz 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/ca/santa-cruz or call us at 831-462-2881. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: Elizabeth Shemaria, Cell: 415 940-3392, elizabeth.shemaria@redcross.org

24-Hour Media Hotline: 415 427-8800