Red Cross always ready to help
Recovering from Superstorm Sandy has required disaster response efforts from various organizations, including the American Red Cross. And in Central New York and the Southern Tier, many Red Cross volunteers have helped. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us more about how they are continuing that effort and others.
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NICHOLS, N.Y. -- The American Red Cross of Central New York and its chapters provide relief for countless people in the community. Over the past three months, those efforts have also included helping people affected by Superstorm Sandy downstate. With new donations rolling in, the organization plans to continue long term recovery efforts.
"We have been providing volunteer support, food, shelter, immediate needs and long terms needs for people in the affected area," American Red Cross, Central NY Region, CEO Rosie Taravella.
About 75 people from the Central New York region have gone to the affected areas. Some volunteers have taken several trips.
For many, Sandy is not their first disaster response effort. While each experience is different, volunteers say they learn new things with each trip.
"It prepares you for the next one. I did my job this way in this incident, the next one maybe I'll do it a little bit differently, you know. I could have been quicker, I could have reached out a little more," said Red Cross volunteer Sharon Aswad.
That's knowledge that volunteers and organization leaders continue to use as they remain vigilant about other impending disasters.
The Northeast snow storm is their top priority this weekend. Emergency Services staff from the Central New York region are prepared to open warming shelters and provide food if there are extended power outages in the region. They've also been in contact with other chapters in the Northeast in case they need the same type of help that was needed during Sandy.
"If there is further damage in other cities that are not in our region, there will be a call from our emergency headquarters in New York State. There is a whole group in Albany that does statewide response. They are connected to other statewide response and the call just goes out for what is needed," said Taravella.
But no matter what kind of disaster it is, volunteers say they are ready to help.