On Wednesday, Hurricane Ian, a devastating category 4 hurricane, wreaked damage in southwest Florida. The hurricane, which had epic storm surges and gusts of 150 mph, claimed lives and made tens of thousands homeless.
First responders and representatives from a number of organisations are on the ground assisting with relief and recovery efforts, including those from the American Red Cross Cascades Region.
The interim director of communication Dawn Johnson said, “Our volunteers are definitely busy. Red Cross has over 700 volunteers there right now responding, almost 40 just from the Cascades Region.”
Johnson showed KGW pictures of Oregonians working in Florida to help families, including cats, by putting up a shelter, transporting food and supplies, and helping families.
“We received some images from a Florida animal shelter where a family had brought in a few kittens. And in one of the shelters there, volunteers had built up a small pet room to take care of the kittens, said Johnson.
The Red Cross had 120,000 people in Florida shelters Thursday night to assist in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Additionally, past natural calamities have already put a strain on the organisation.
Therefore, Johnson added, “Now is a really ideal moment to reach out to the public and attempt to build up our ranks and our disaster volunteer force.
The Red Cross Cascades Region is hosting a number of volunteer deployment information sessions in order to that aim. They are intended to serve as the first step for new potential volunteers to become familiar with the procedure.
It does not assure immediate selection as a volunteer for Florida. However, with initial damage estimates already exceeding $100 billion, Ian’s recovery will be slow.
Not everyone should volunteer, but perhaps everyone should give blood. We recently transferred 200 to 300 units of blood from Oregon to Florida, so additional donations are still needed, according to Johnson.
Contributing money is another option to assist the American Red Cross. Donations can be made specifically for the relief operations after Hurricane Ian.
Oregon residents can also text Ian to donate $10 by dialling 1-800-RED CROSS.
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