By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Typhoon Haiyan hit the eastern and central Philippines on Nov. 8. It killed or left missing more than 5,000 people and displaced millions.
The regional Red Cross chapter, which serves Clallam and Jefferson counties, is participating in the international relief effort by taking donations.
Only money can be accepted. Typically, the Red Cross takes donations of clothing, food and medical supplies, but the distance involved in the Philippines typhoon relief makes supplies donations inefficient, said Don Zanon, disaster relief services coordinator for the Olympic Peninsula Red Cross.
“The cost of getting it there outweighs the benefit,” Zanon said.
Donations can be mailed to Olympic Peninsula Chapter, P.O. Box 188, Carlsborg, WA 98324; hand-delivered to the regional office at 151 Ruth's Place in Carlsborg; or made online at the American Red Cross site at www.redcross.org.
Checks should have “Philippines relief” written on the memo line, Zanon said.
Cash should not be sent.
The regional office has not been requested to send volunteers to the Philippines.
But it is preparing for subsequent disasters by offering training.
A volunteer orientation class, which qualifies volunteers to be deployed to disaster situations nationwide, will begin at 1 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Red Cross office in Carlsborg.
“If we get enough volunteers, we can organize a class earlier than that,” Zanon said.
Area residents also can help the Red Cross by preparing for a disaster at home.
Zanon said the typhoon is a reminder for people to prepare to take care of themselves in case of a local disaster, especially as winter storms set in.
“It's a good way to do an assessment of your personal and neighborhood preparedness,” he said.
Training classes are available through the Red Cross and through Community Emergency Response Teams, or CERT.
For more information on training for local CERT teams, phone Jamye Wisecup at the Clallam County Emergency Management office at 360-417-2525 or Tim Manley at the Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue CERT team at 360-437-2236.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.