Red Cross dispatches 20 state volunteers to Hurricane Florence areas

September 11, 2018 GMT

Twenty American Red Cross volunteers from across the state are being sent to South North Carolina to set up efforts and be ready to help once Hurricane Florence hits North Carolina.

Stefanie Arcangelo, a Red Cross spokesperson described Hurricane Florence as an extremely dangerous storm posed to strike the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina beginning Wednesday. She said states of emergency have been declared in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“The Red Cross is preparing to respond and urges anyone in the path of this hurricane to get ready too,” said Arcangelo. “Red Cross disaster workers are standing by and relief supplies and equipment are being moved into the region. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate potential response efforts.”

The hurricane is expected to bring heavy winds and rain perhaps as far as Connecticut.

Red Cross volunteers from Connecticut being sent to Durham, N.C. are Matthew Stevens as a responder; Joseph Apicelli Michelle Barnett, Anthony Salzo, Laurie Robinson and Bruce Smith as emergency vehicle drivers; and Patti McNally, Art Sokaitis, Thomas Kimball Lori Merker-Chapman, Cheryl MacKenzie, Mary Ellen McLaughlin and Dave Fuller as shelter service associates.

Being sent to Richmond, Va. are Scott Somerville and Pam Pratt as disaster mental health service associates and Stephen Olshewski as a feeding service associate.;

Going to Columbia, S.C. are Donna Hathaway and Wayne Dailey as disaster health services managers; Art Hopkins as a shelter supervisor; Mary Ellen McLaughlin as a shelter service associate and Steve Skolnick as a transportation supervisor.

Somerville, Kimball, Salzo, Robinson and Hopkins are from Fairfield and New Haven County municipalities.

More volunteers may be deployed later to these regions. The Red Cross has 3,000 volunteers in its Connecticut and Rhode Island region.

Arcangelo said the Red Cross urges residents to follow three steps in an emergency like this: put together a disaster kit, devise an emergency plan and be informed as to how local authorities will issue notifications. She also advised downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App to have real time information about the storm, shelter locations and safety tips during an emergency such as this hurricane. The app is available in app stores, the Red Cross website or through redcross.org/apps.

Donations may be through redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation.