This past weekend as Hurricane Sandy gathered ocean energy for its assault on the U.S. East Coast, your local chapters of the American Red Cross were mustering their energy, too. Volunteers were called up, emergency response vehicles (ERVs) and equipment for them were prepared. It was all to help those clobbered by this rare convergence of winter weathers that have combined to make a superstorm.
As of today, Monday, the Greater St. Louis region has sent a total of five ERVs and 14 volunteers to assist in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Area volunteers are driving the emergency response vehicles, working in shelters, and assisting in the areas of mental health and staff health.
“The Red Cross is getting more people and equipment in place along the East Coast so that we can effectively help those in need,” said Cindy Erickson, Regional CEO of the Red Cross. “Pulling together as ‘one Red Cross’ makes this possible.”
Who’s volunteered from your area? From Illinois, Carol and Richard Daesch of Carbondale, Al Boucher of Belleville, and Mike Wood of Wood River have already left. Mike and his partner, Crow Brozovich of St. Ann, Mo, were the last ones to be deployed. They plan to cover 500 miles of territory today, with wind and rain getting stronger with every mile farther east.
Other volunteers from Missouri include Karen Proffitt of Ferguson, Allyson Pope of Valley Park, Jolene Davis and Anita Davis of Montgomery City, Carl Nappier of California, Mo., and Leslie Myers of Jefferson City. Sheila and Jim Ulbrich and Daniel Herzmann came from St. Louis proper.
Right now all further deployments, with the possible exception of ERVs, have been halted until at least Wednesday due to hurricane and travel conditions.
Lee Braff, St. Louis ARC Volunteer