YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – On Sunday, the American Red Cross sent more than 1,600 trained volunteers from all over the country to areas in the path of Hurricane Dorian, some of which were from Northeast Ohio.
Ten volunteers from the Red Cross’ Lake to River chapter will help set up evacuation centers for those in need of shelter.
“People are trained. Our volunteers know what they are doing and in fact, our emergency response vehicle, looks like a big ambulance, left yesterday,” said Karen Conklin, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Red Cross in Youngstown.
More than 110 emergency response vehicles (ERVs) were sent over the Labor Day weekend, including two from Northeast Ohio.
They also sent out more than 99 tractor-trailer loads full of relief supplies.
Conklin says they have been watching Hurricane Dorian since it was a tropical depression.
“Resources come in from all of the areas, usually, then they’re stationed about 100 miles inland. So then when that event occurs we’re close by. We can get to where the need is and it’s all about the preparedness,” she said.
Conklin says each volunteer is deployed by their skill set in what they were trained in.
“How to set up a shelter, mass feeding, how to drive a fork-lift, how to drive an emergency response vehicle, how to meet the mental health needs of clients who have just experienced a devastating incident… That’s all preparedness training,” she said.
Conklin says Red Cross volunteers are all about making a difference in each community by helping others.
“In a hurricane situation, every individual’s needs are different. But our folks are so wonderful that they are able to meet those needs,” she said.
The Red Cross is always accepting monetary donations that will help provide food, shelter, relief supplies and other assistance.
“So we really do need the public’s help, to text or drop off a donation at our office,” Conklin said.
To donate to the Red Cross to help those affected by Dorian, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word DORIAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
In anticipation of blood drives being canceled because of Dorian, the Red Cross is urging people to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.