Local Red Cross Volunteers Deploy As Isaac Heads Toward Florida

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Contact:

Paul Shipman

Phone: (860) 678-2796

paul.shipman@redcross.org

Tropical Storm Isaac could make landfall in Florida in the next few days and the American Red Cross is getting ready to respond if needed.

The Red Cross is preparing to open dozens of shelters across Florida, and moving hundreds of trained disaster workers into the state. There are 22 Red Cross emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 more are moving into the state in advance of the storm with an additional 78 on stand-by if needed. The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies to send to Florida and Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship emergency supplies if necessary.

Among the Red Cross workers ready to deploy are two Rhode Island residents who will depart on Friday for Florida, said American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman. “Five local volunteers are headed south to help with shelter and health services operations. We think we may see more deployments in coming days, depending on Isaac’s path, but our first team is ready to help with work that is underway.”

The two volunteers from Rhode Island are:

  • Robyn Remillard, from Woonsocket, who will serve as a Shelter Service Associate in Tampa
  • Dereck Jordan, from Cumberland, who will serve as a Shelter Supervisor in Miami
  • “While we prepare to help in Florida, this is a great opportunity for people here in Rhode Island to check their own readiness for potential hurricanes this year,” Shipman said.

    RED CROSS HURRICANE APP One step people should take now, Shipman said, is to download the free Red Cross Hurricane App for mobile devices, which puts real time information on hurricane safety at someone’s fingertips. The app features information on Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The one-touch “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media outlets to tell family and friends they are okay. People across the country planning to travel to areas that could get hit with the storm can use the app to receive weather alerts. The Hurricane App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

    Shipman said that preparedness information for hurricanes and other disasters is available at www.redcross.org/prepare. “We have the information and resources you need to keep your home, workplace and community safe.”

    MEANWHILE IN HAITI, Red Cross workers from all over the world are closely coordinating preparedness efforts and plans to respond as Isaac approaches Hispaniola. Logistical support and cholera contingency plans have been activated for the north and northeast regions of Haiti, including positioning of relief and cholera prevention supplies. The Red Cross is supporting and equipping 55 community readiness committees in camps in Port au Prince with additional first aid supplies, having worked with these committees on an ongoing basis to identify evacuation routes and alternate safe spaces. The Haitian government is in charge of evacuation shelters in Haiti. The Red Cross works with the community to help them get ready for disasters and will respond to any needs Isaac creates.

    HOW TO HELP If anyone would like to help, they can make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.