Peninsula Red Cross chapter sends 12 in Sandy’s wake

By Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — Twelve trained volunteers with the Olympic Peninsula chapter of the American Red Cross are helping out on the East Coast in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

Nine of them left Thursday and Friday, said Stephanie Gruss, Red Cross spokeswoman, adding that deployments are generally two to three weeks long.

Deployed to shelters in New Jersey are Colin Anable of Nordland; Shirley Williams, Don Dybeck and Diane Bommer of Port Townsend; Roger Drake and Ryan Ollerman of Port Angeles; and Zane Beall of Sequim.

Frank Keener and Denise Bergeron of Port Angeles headed for shelters in New York state.

Wayne Foth of Sekiu and Betty Hendricks of Port Angeles left Saturday for White Plains, N.Y., where they will be joined Monday by Janet Parris of Port Angeles, said Michelle Kelley, executive director of the Olympic Peninsula chapter of the Red Cross, which serves Clallam and Jefferson counties.

The death toll from the massive storm that hit the East Coast on Monday had risen to more than 100 this weekend, and 2.68 million homes and businesses were without power by Saturday morning, down from a peak of 8.5 million.

It is estimated that more than 60 million people were affected by the devastation.

“This response to Sandy is just getting started,” Kelley said.

“The storm has left devastation in its wake, and we will be helping people for weeks to come.”

Trained volunteers, especially those with specialized skills, will be asked about their availability in the coming weeks, Gruss said.

Volunteers are always welcome, but they must be prepared before they can be deployed, Kelley said.

Intake procedures take about a month, and volunteers must have a minimum of three training sessions.

Those who are untrained but who want to help now can support Red Cross efforts through donations, Kelley said.

Thousands of people have spent the night in hundreds of Red Cross shelters since the storm began its onslaught on the country.

The Red Cross already has served more than 100,800 meals and snacks, and mobilized more than 2,300 disaster workers and almost 200 emergency vehicles so far, and more are being deployed.

Continued help will be very costly, Kelley said.

“We ask everyone to support us as we help people recover from this massive storm,” she said.

Donations can be made by visiting www.redcross.org, phoning 800-733-2767 or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Contributions also can be sent to the Olympic Peninsula chapter at 151 Ruth’s Place, Sequim, WA 98382, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.

For more information about the Olympic Peninsula chapter, visit www.redcross.org/wa/port-townsend.

Last modified: November 03. 2012 5:37PM
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