Red Cross Needs Volunteers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/10/04

Red Cross Needs Volunteers

The American Red Cross has been working around the clock, responding to both Charley and Frances and now preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Ivan. The storms just brushed by the Coastal Empire and Low Country, so the Savannah chapter of the American Red Cross is sending volunteers and supplies south and that's taking a heavy toll.

Catalina Garcia-Quick, Savannah's American Red Cross Development Coordinator, has been keeping a close watch on Hurricane Ivan. Ivan, the third in a series of storms to hit the southeast, is keeping the Red Cross on their toes.

"Initially, we had ten people on standby ready to respond to Frances," says Garica-Quick. "Now, we have Hurricane Ivan so our national office has got us on hold until we see what Ivan does."

Over the last several weeks, American Red Cross chapters around the country, including the Coastal Empire's, have been converging on Florida, providing food and water, shelter, and counseling to residents recovering from the storm. While volunteers are providing valuable service in Florida, the American Red Cross also needs their help locally.

"We've got a lot of flooding and a lot of wind damage in our area," explains Garcia-Quick. "We've had fires because of lightning. We've had several things going on in all of our counties to where our people are responding left and right. They're very busy, very stretched, very tired."

More volunteers are already trickling in. Scott Eason, an Effingham County firefighter, saw the need locally and wanted to help. "They need people to actually go to these tragedies, these areas, and put in the hours and effort to make their lives a lot easier," Eason says.

"We're looking for volunteers all the time," adds Garcia-Quick. "You're not going to volunteer today and get sent to Florida tomorrow, but we do need volunteers on a local level to help us with our local disaster response. We're in critical need of health and safety instructors and CPR instructors. People can also give to the National Disaster Relief Fund and help support the victims of Hurricane Frances, Charley and many other disasters throughout the year."

The Savannah Chapter provides emergency assistance and training to nine counties: Chatham, Effingham, Screven, Bryan, Liberty, Long, Evans, Emanuel, & Tattnall. To volunteer, call (912) 651-5311. To make a donation to the Savannah chapter of the American Red Cross, call (912) 651-5321. You can also donate to the National Disaster Relief Fund at 1-800-HELP NOW. For more information, visit the American Red Cross website: www.redcross.org or www.savannahredcross.org

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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