Additional Maui Volunteer Deployed to Assist in Hurricane Matthew Response

October 7, 2016, 5:07 PM HST · Updated October 7, 5:09 PM
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Hurricane Matthew forecast track as of 2 p.m. HST on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.

Hurricane Matthew forecast track as of 2 p.m. HST on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. PC: NOAA/NHC

An additional Red Cross worker from Maui was deployed today as part of a massive sheltering operation in response to Hurricane Matthew as more than 27,000 people sought refuge in almost 200 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters across three states Thursday night.

Maui volunteer, Michael Kleinsasser will be assisting with Sheltering in South Carolina. Earlier this week, Maui volunteer Patricia Tracy was deployed to Florida to assist with Sheltering operations there.

The two are among a list of 10 Red Cross Volunteers from Hawaiʻi that have been deployed so far to the southeastern US in response to the severe weather event.

Matthew Forecast Update:

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The National Hurricane Center says Matthew continues to move over or near the coast of NE Florida and Georgia through tonight, and over or near the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.

As of 2 p.m. HST on Friday, Matthew was just under Category 3 strength with 110 mph sustained winds, making it a Category 2 Hurricane (96-110 mph winds).

Forecasters with the NHC say that although weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, Matthew is expected to remain a hurricane until it begins to move away from the southeastern United States on Sunday.

The system was last moving toward the North near 12 mph, a motion that is expected to continue tonight, with a turn toward the NNE, and then to the NE expected on Saturday.

200 Red Cross Shelters Set up in 3 States:

An estimated 200 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters had been set up across three states by Thursday night. This included 133 shelters in Florida with more than 22,000 people; 18 shelters in Georgia with more than 2,100 people; and 47 shelters in South Carolina with more than 2,500 people.

Seven additional Hawaii Red Cross volunteers deployed to assist in the Red Cross response to Hurricane Matthew today including: Two Big Island volunteers, Neill Bell and Royden Mahi Jr., two Oʻahu volunteers, Karen Awana and Paulette Dibibar, and one Maui volunteer, Michael Kleinsasser will be assisting with Sheltering in South Carolina.  One Big Island volunteer, Patrice Johnson and one Oʻahu volunteer, Candy Iha, will be assisting with Health Services in Florida.

Three Hawaiʻi Red Cross volunteers deployed earlier this week to Florida, pre-landfall.  Big Island volunteer Cathy Lewis will be assisting with Staff Services, another Big Island volunteer Marty Moran has been assigned to Safety Services, and Maui volunteer Patricia Tracy will assist with Sheltering.

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

“We’ve prepositioned trained volunteers, response vehicles and trailer loads of supplies in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, but now is the time for folks to stay safe and listen to emergency officials,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “The life-threatening storm surge, intense winds and heavy rain could cause widespread devastation and recovery challenges that can’t be handled by just one organization. This is a time for neighbors and communities to come together and support one another—and the Red Cross is proud to be one of many organizations providing help.”

More than 1,800 Red Cross Disaster Workers Assisting:

More than 1,800 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground or traveling to the southeast to support evacuation shelters and response efforts. In addition to providing a safe place to ride out the dangerous storm, the Red Cross is preparing to deliver relief supplies and help people recover from Matthew as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Red Cross has deployed numerous emergency response vehicles and 35 trailers filled with items like water, ready-to-eat meals, shelter and kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies and comfort kits, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to make sure people get the help they need.

If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit redcross.org, check the Red Cross Emergency App or call 1-800-768-8048. Anyone who plans to stay in a Red Cross shelter should bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. They should also include any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.

MAKE A DONATION The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

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