Maui News

Mauian Deployed to Help in Aftermath of Superstorm

November 1, 2012, 3:28 PM HST
* Updated November 1, 5:32 PM
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Red Cross. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Ten Red Cross workers from Hawai’i, including one from Maui, are scheduled to fly out tonight to assist in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast.

Officials say Shannan Pyland, who was recognized earlier this year as the agency’s Maui Volunteer of the Year, is among the initial Hawai’i group that will fly out tonight to White Palins, New York, for two to three week disaster assignments.

Cindy Tanaka, Chief of Staff at the Hawaii State Chapter of The American National Red Cross said Pyland will be working in a shelter, but exact assignment location has not yet been determined.

The Hawai’i deployment also includes one volunteer from Kauai, three from the Big Island, and five from Oahu.

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“Nine will be working in shelters and one in health services. At least two others are expected to leave tomorrow. They will gain valuable experience to bring back to our state so that we will be better prepared when the next major disaster strikes Hawaii,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO, American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter.

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According to Matayoshi, a total of 30 volunteers from Hawai’i are on stand-by for possible deployment.

Shannan Pyland, 2012 Maui Red Cross Volunteer of the Year. Courtesy photo.

Red Cross officials say the focus today is on ramping up a massive feeding operation to get hot meals to people in places such as Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island and New Jersey.

According to Red Cross officials, more than 7,000 people spent Wednesday night in 115 Red Cross shelters in nine states – New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, and the District of Columbia.

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The Red Cross has mobilized more than 3,300 disaster workers and more than two-thirds of the entire Red Cross fleet of response vehicles is beginning to distribute meals, water and snacks in some areas. Trailers full of relief supplies have also been deployed to help people as they begin to clean up their homes.

HOW TO HELP:

  • To donate, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected.
  • Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013 or to the American Red Cross – Hawaii State Chapter, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.

If you have friends or relatives in the affected areas, the Red Cross urges them to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

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