Hawaii Red Cross Volunteer Deploys to Help Oklahoma Response

Our volunteers are amazing and always willing to go where help is needed. – Coralie Matayoshi, Hawaii Red Cross CEO

An Oahu Red Cross volunteer from Hawaii left on June 2nd for Oklahoma to help in the relief efforts. The volunteer nurse will be serving in a manager role in health services.

“This was our first request for a volunteer from our islands to go to Oklahoma but our local volunteers remain ready to be deployed if requested,” said Coralie Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross. “Our volunteers are amazing and always willing to go where help is needed.”

The Red Cross is providing additional services in Oklahoma after the devastating tornadoes there Friday night. Disaster workers opened new shelters and are helping people recover from these latest storms and the earlier tornadoes that struck Moore and Shawnee. So far, the Red Cross has:

• Deployed more than 1,100 Red Cross disaster workers to provide shelter, meals and supplies throughout the affected communities in Oklahoma.

• Served more than 238,000 meals and snacks

• Distributed more than 37,000 relief items

• Provided more than 11,400 health services and mental health contacts

You can help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

This is an emotional time for people in communities hit by the tornadoes, as many people have lost loved ones and everything they own. Red Cross disaster mental health workers are available to help people cope with the aftermath.

• People can reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

• People may be experiencing a variety of difficult feelings and thoughts – fear, anger, confusion, shock, disbelief, sadness and grief. These are all normal feelings associated with experiencing a disaster like this.

• Reacting to a disaster like this can affect not only how someone feels, but the way they think and what they think about, their sleep, their daily lives and the way they interact with others. Children and the elderly are especially at risk.

• People should try to limit their exposure to the disaster.

• They should reach out and accept help from others and stay connected with family and other support systems.

• Allow children to feel upset and encourage them to express their feelings and thoughts.

• Return to a daily routine as much as possible.

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. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.