Local volunteers assisting with Hurricane Sandy aid

CAMARILLO, Monday, October 29, 2012 — The American Red Cross Central Coast Region, encompassing Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, has sent two volunteers to assist in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts on the East Coast.

More than 3,200 people spent Sunday night in 112 Red Cross shelters in nine states – New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Massachusetts. The number of people going to shelters is expected to grow as the storm comes ashore.

Eleanor Guzik of Ventura and Kristiana Almeida of Santa Barbara join more than 1,300 Red Cross disaster workers who have deployed to the region to help those affected by the storm. As needed, more local volunteers may be deployed as well.

As many as 160 emergency vehicles are ready to respond when it is safe to do so, and more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals have been sent into the area.

“Sandy is a large and dangerous storm, and will affect large areas of the eastern part of the country for the next few days, said Jim McGee, CEO of the Red Cross Central Coast Region. “We are so proud to send our local volunteers to assist our friends and family on the East Coast.”

HOW TO HELP “This will be a large, costly relief response and the Red Cross needs help now,” McGee said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations of cash or check can also be received at your local Red Cross office in Camarillo, Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo from 10 am to 3pm on weekdays.

RED CROSS APPS More than 235,000 people have downloaded the free Red Cross Hurricane App Friday when Sandy began approaching, making it one of the most popular free apps. The app gives up-to-date weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay.

People have been using the app to find shelters, to set up locations for the app to monitor, to make a disaster plan, and learn what steps they can take to stay safe. The app is available in Spanish just by changing the smart phone setting to Spanish before downloading.

The First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in a person’s hand. Both can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

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 www.redcross.org or join our blog.