Local Red Cross volunteers are headed to the Gulf Coast as the region braces for Hurricane Gustav — expected to make landfall on Monday.
The American Red Cross Adirondack Saratoga Chapter has deployed seven volunteers in the region.
“This is one of the biggest disasters we’re responding to since [Hurricane] Katrina,” said John Johnson, public affairs and development officer for the chapter.
The hurricane is currently wavering between a Category 3 and 4 hurricane. Category 4 storms can have winds as strong as 155 miles per hour. The storm surge could be up to 20 feet to the coast and bring rainfall of up to 15 inches.
The national organization has spent $12 million to prepare for this storm by relocating people and setting up shelters, Johnson said.
“We’ve got 3,000 emergency services, disaster services workers in the region. We have set up enough supplies for over 500,000 shelter residents,” he said.
He anticipated the Red Cross volunteers would be in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Florida for six to eight days depending on the need. Some will run shelters and others will be involved in feeding efforts. The Red Cross has more than 200 mobile feeding trucks.
One of those volunteers, Edward Gordon of Glens Falls, just arrived in New Orleans. He will be working in an office in Baton Rouge, La., helping to process the Red Cross volunteers. He said their tasks will vary depending on where the storm hits.
Gordon spent 25 days in New Orleans following the Katrina disaster.
“We were taking out of the kitchen 20,000 meals a day. … I don’t know if we’ll get to that extent this time or not, It depends on what happens,” he said.
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Categories: Schenectady County