Maui Red Cross Workers Assisting with Isaac Recovery
By Wendy Osher
Over the last two days, the Hawaii Red Cross has deployed 19 volunteers to support relief efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.
Thirteen volunteers from Oahu, Maui, and West Hawaii flew to Houston Tuesday night and were transported to a Red Cross staging area in Orange, Texas, waiting for the storm to pass. They are hoping that the weather will let up today so they can travel on to Louisiana to begin delivering services.
Michele Liberty, the Red Cross Director for Maui County, is one of the local workers that was sent from Hawai’i. She said the group arrived in Houston and is on standby ready to be deployed where help is needed.
Another four volunteers (two from Oahu, one from Kauai, and 1 from Molokai) left for Houston last night. An additional two volunteers from the Big Island will leave today for Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Coralie Matayoshi, chief executive officer of the Hawaii State Chapter said, “Having Hawaii volunteers travel to disasters on the mainland will provide them with valuable experience to bring back to our state so that when, not if, the next major disaster strikes Hawaii, we will be better prepared.”
Since Hurricane Isaac struck the Gulf Coast 24 hours ago, thousands of families have evacuated and turned to the Red Cross for a safe, dry place to stay and something to eat. Last night over 5,000 people stayed in 80 shelters. After the severe weather passes, the Red Cross will remain on site for weeks helping with recovery efforts.
Those from Hawai’i who want to help through donations can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.