Maui News

Maui Red Cross Volunteer Deployed for Hurricane Matthew Response

October 5, 2016, 2:03 PM HST
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Hurricane Matthew 5-day Forecast Track. PC: NOAA/National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Matthew 5-day Forecast Track as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. PC: NOAA/National Hurricane Center.

A Red Cross worker on Maui is among three volunteers from across the state that are being deployed to Florida ahead of Hurricane Matthew.

Maui volunteer Patricia Tracy will assist with Sheltering; Big Island volunteer Cathy Lewis will be assisting with Staff Services; and another Big Island volunteer, Marty Moran, has been assigned to Safety Services.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Matthew was expected to be very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday night, as of the 11 a.m. HST (5 p.m. EST) forecast advisory issued on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016,

Organization leaders say the American Red Cross is preparing for what they are describing as “the most powerful hurricane in the Atlantic to reach the United States since Hurricane Felix in 2007.”

As of 5 p.m. EST (11 a.m. HST) on Wednesday, Matthew was a Category 3 (111-129 mph winds) Hurricane, with sustained winds of 120 mph.

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East Coast Bracing for Multistate Impact:

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Red Cross leaders say “Hurricane Matthew has the potential to impact multiple states, threaten millions, and potentially force thousands to seek emergency shelter.”

From Florida to New England, the Red Cross is finalizing shelter plans and preparing vehicles and supplies. Trained Red Cross disaster relief workers are being mobilized across multiple states.

The Red Cross is urging people in the potential path of Hurricane Matthew to stay informed about the storm and take steps to get prepared now. The organization recommends taking these three steps: 1) build a disaster kit; 2) come up with an emergency plan; and 3) be informed about how local authorities will notify you during a disaster, whether through local media or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels.

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The public can stay informed by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App which puts real time information and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross, texting GETEMERGENCY to 90999 or going to redcross.org/apps.

HOW TO HELP:

The work of the American Red Cross starts long before a hurricane makes landfall in the United States. For example, the Red Cross has warehouses stocked with disaster relief supplies, thousands of trained workers, and more than 320 mobile response vehicles on standby year-round to be ready to help people in need. “If we didn’t maintain these resources 24/7, we couldn’t get help to people in a timely fashion—but we depend on donations from the American public to be ready,” organization leaders said.

To help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods and countless other crises the public is invited to make a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief effort. Gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Flood Relief in Louisiana:

In addition to the Hurricane Matthew response, Oʻahu volunteer Renise Bayne will be deploying to Louisiana for the second time as a Client Casework Manager for Red Cross’ continuing flood relief effort there.

Caribbean Response Efforts Underway

In Haiti, high winds, heavy rains and a strong storm surge blasted the southern coast early Tuesday morning. After the storm passes, the American Red Cross team in Haiti will begin conducting needs and damage assessments in preparation for delivering pre-positioned response stocks in partnership with the Haitian Red Cross.

In addition, the Haitian Red Cross has more than 3,000 volunteers and staff working to help impacted communities with health, sanitation and emergency response. Emergency supply kits have been prepared and shipped out to warehouses in affected areas, including cholera prevention kits, hygiene kits, and kitchen sets. Community Intervention Teams made up of volunteers trained in search and rescue and first-aid have been mobilized and equipped.

Throughout the Caribbean, Red Cross teams have been readied to assist more countries in Matthew’s path, including Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. The IFRC regional office in Panama is closely monitoring the storm and actively adjusting response plans as the storm’s path evolves. The IFRC is planning to deploy disaster professionals and assessment teams to the areas that are most severely affected – and the American Red Cross is supporting where it can.

U.S. Military Families Evacuate from Guantanamo Bay:

More than 700 US Military personnel, spouses and children from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay are seeking shelter at Naval Air Station Pensacola after being evacuated on Sunday. As of Tuesday morning, the Red Cross has distributed 1,000 meals and snacks, as well as comfort kits and diapers, and provided nearly 50 cots. Remaining military personnel in Cuba are being provided disaster preparedness support by the Red Cross in conjunction with the US Military.

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