February 8, 2012: The American Red Cross has been busy gearing up for the major winter storm while also continuing recovery efforts for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. At the Greater New York Chapter preparations to position supplies to provide support should they be needed are almost complete. There are thousands of cots, blankets, comfort kits, ready-to-eat meals available in the Greater New York Region with teams of local volunteers on standby to open shelters if needed.
Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) have been prepositioned around the Greater New York area. Large box trucks have been loaded with cots and, clothing and food. The box trucks are loaded with enough supplies to open up a shelter and to support 400 people. Diario Diaz is the Mass Care and Logistics manager for the Greater New York Chapter. Along with team members Raul Nunez and Erin Phillips, Diario has coordinated the loading and positioning of trucks and vehicles.
“In addition to the potential need to open shelters,” Diaz said, “we know that the potential for home fires goes up during a major winter storm and that means we need to have our Disaster Action Team (DAT) vehicles loaded and ready.” The Chapter has alerted volunteers to the possibility they will be called upon to provide disaster support.
The same activity is on-going at Red Cross chapters across the northeast U.S. in preparation for what some are calling an historic storm. Travel over the northeast from New York to Maine may be life threatening Friday night through Saturday afternoon. The American Red Cross advises that people in the affected area to stay home and stay safe. If there is a power outage it is safer to use flashlights than candles.
While the Greater New York Chapter prepares for the winter storm the disaster response operation for Hurricane Sandy continues with little or no interruption. Feeding efforts will be subject to weather safety issues, but the Red Cross will do everything they can to keep delivering meals to affected area.