Maui Red Cross Volunteers Prepare for Hurricane Isaac
By Wendy Osher
Up to 10 Hawai’i Red Cross workers on Maui and O’ahu may be deployed tonight to assist in response efforts in preparation for Hurricane Isaac.
Officials say the volunteers would be pre-positioned in Texas, so that they can get to Louisiana faster, once the storm has passed. Red Cross officials say most of the Hawai’i volunteers will be assigned to work at emergency shelters.
An unsettling reality is that Isaac is scheduled to make landfall soon, possibly on the same day (August 29) that Hurricane Katrina struck seven years ago.
According to Hawai’i Red Cross authorities, a total of 50 local volunteers are on standby to deploy to the Gulf Coast to assist if necessary.
A national response has been launched by the Red Cross that includes participation from volunteers across multiple states along the Gulf. About 2,400 trained Red Cross disaster workers from across the US have deployed to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas to help.
Across the Gulf Coast, 187 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are poised to serve meals and distribute relief items once and all clear is given to proceed. There are also 290,000 ready-to-eat-meals pre-positioned in the area.
Potential impacts include damage from strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and coastal surges.
Last night, officials say nearly 800 people stayed in 52 shelters in five states, with more shelters prepared to open today.