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Hurricane Matthew: Local Red Cross Volunteer Traveling to Florida

Joining Multistate Response as Hurricane Matthew Heads toward U.S

BANGOR (Wednesday, October 5th) – As Hurricane Matthew continues to move toward the United States with strong winds and heavy rain, Darlene Helms (of Hampden) is headed to Orlando, Florida to provide disaster preparedness support with the American Red Cross.

Early tomorrow morning, Darlene flies from Bangor International Airport to Florida and will be setting up and preparing shelters, distributed relief supplies and educating Floridians about the importance of hurricane preparedness. Darlene is a two-year volunteer with the organization who was recently deployed to Louisiana to assist with the devastating flooding in the region.

People in the potential path of Hurricane Matthew should stay informed about the storm and take steps to get prepared now. Be Prepared for an Emergency. Be Red Cross Ready!

HAVE A DISASTER KIT:  People should get their disaster kits ready. Include a gallon of water per person - enough for three days, three-day supply of non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a hand crank weather radio, first aid kit, medications, personal hygiene items, extra cash, cell phone and chargers, family and emergency contact information, copies of important papers and a map of the area. More details on what to include are available here.

HURRICANE SAFETY:  People living in the path of the hurricane should keep informed about weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials. They should also listen to local media or a NOAA weather radio for critical information from the National Weather Service. Other steps include:
- Check disaster supplies and replace or restock if needed.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
- Close doors, windows and hurricane shutters. If you don’t have shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Obey evacuation orders and avoid flooded roads and bridges. Turn around, don’t drown.
Download a Hurricane Safety Checklist

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP: Everyone should also download the Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information available on their mobile device, including emergency weather alerts and information on what to do in the case of a hurricane and other emergencies. The app also displays shelter locations. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

Members of the media interested in speaking with Darlene can do so this afternoon (from the Red Cross offices in Bangor) or tomorrow morning at 5:30AM (from the Bangor International Airport) should email Justin Burkhardt at or call (207) 999-1015.


About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood, teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid, and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. Learn more at, on Twitter (ARC_Maine), or Facebook (American Red Cross of Maine).