LOCAL VOLUNTEERS GO TO GULF COAST
disaster volunteers from the local Granite Chapter of the American Red Cross
have been sent to the Gulf Coast states. They join 22 other disaster volunteers
from NH Red Cross chapters who are participating in the nationwide Red Cross
response to assist the thousands of people displaced by Tropical Depression
Gustav. Read more...
|In preparation for her assignment in
Hattiesburg, MS, volunteer Michelle Koski (left) is given Red Cross
disaster information from Kay Mahoney, Deputy Director for Emergency
Services at the Granite Chapter.
||Marie Ott completes paperwork at the
Granite Chapter for her assignment to Hattiesburg, MS.
Volunteers, Dotti and David Penny (in Red Cross
vests), go over supplies in comfort
kits with Maria White, the chapter�s Chief Operating Officer. The comfort kits
distributed to people in the Gulf Coast area who have been displaced by recent
Peter Fortier from Contoocook left last week for
Alexandria, Virginia, to join the procurement team in support of the storm
relief. Denise Smith, a long-time resident of the Goffstown area now living in
Arkansas, is being sent by the chapter to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she will
work on services to support other Red Cross volunteers and staff.
Maria Ott of Bow and Michelle Koski of Manchester headed to Hattiesburg,
Mississippi, where they will work on emergency shelter needs. Also in
Hattiesburg are Helen Champa from Contoocook, a supervisor for casework, and
Dotti and David Penny from Hillsborough, who are working on the mobile feeding
vehicle and helping with casework. The Pennys summer in Prince Edward Island and
drove 12 hours last week to get to the Granite Chapter for their assignment
information. David Hughes of Center Harbor left for Orlando FL in anticipation
of Hurricane Ike; he is assigned to health services.
Disaster volunteers are trained by the Granite Chapter to assist disaster
victims with a variety of physical and emotional needs, even under the rugged
conditions that usually follow a disaster. These four disaster volunteers will
be living and working under hardship conditions. They will be sleeping on cots
in community shelters similar to the shelters provided to disaster victims.
Supplies of water, electricity and food will be limited and at times
unavailable. Their work and travel will be hampered by difficult conditions such
as debris in the middle of roads making some impassable.
Although the storm was downgraded from hurricane status, the American Red Cross
continues to provide shelter, food and emotional support to those displaced by
Gustav and the families returning to the area only to find their homes
This is the largest Red Cross relief effort since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On
both the first and second nights of the Gustav evacuation, the Red Cross
sheltered more people than during that same time period following Katrina,
indicating that people heeded the warnings, took evacuations seriously and
conducted the evacuations in an orderly fashion.
The Red Cross has workers, cots, blankets, comfort kits, ready-to-eat meals and
more than 200 mobile feeding trucks in the area. There are enough shelter
supplies for 500,000 shelter residents for a six-day period.
Support so far for the people of the Gulf Coast area has already cost the Red
Cross about $20 million with more storms heading toward the United States.
Tropical Storm Hanna poses a threat to the East Coast. Tropical Storm Ike is
expected to get stronger. The American Red Cross has staged resources along the
East Coast to help residents in the path of other hurricanes.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free to those needing it, made
possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. To
help victims of disasters like Tropical Depression Gustav, you can make a
financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the
Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to disaster
victims. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate
your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation.
Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to the American Red Cross,
P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online
contribution by visiting
The local Granite Chapter of the Red Cross, based in Concord, responds to
disasters and provides emergency preparedness training for NH residents in the
Concord area, Lakes Region and North Country. For any questions or further
information about becoming a disaster volunteer, contact the chapter at