Cape Cod Red Cross Chapter Continues to Deploy Volunteers for Hurricane Relief

A roof is strewn across a home’s lawn as Rick Freedman checks his neighbor’s damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

HYANNIS – A handful of volunteers from the local chapter of the Red Cross have been deployed to the Hurricane Irma zone to assist with Hurricane Irma relief.

The Cape, Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts chapter of the American Red Cross has sent five people to areas including, Florida, Georgia and the U.S. Virgin Islands which were hit hard by the powerful hurricane.

The storm has been responsible for 10 deaths in the United States and has left millions without power. The storm was even more powerful in the Caribbean causing at least 35 deaths.

Irma was the second devastating storm to ravage the southern part of the country in a two week period after Harvey caused historic flooding in southeastern Texas.

Local Red Cross chapter executive director Hilary Greene says having two major storms within two weeks has been trying.

“We’ve had an amazing overwhelming response to getting new volunteers who can then help us at home either in the office or responding to local disasters as we deploy our trained volunteers to these disasters,” Greene said.

More than 20 volunteers from the region have been sent to assist with Harvey and Irma relief in Texas, Florida, Georgia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“It is a challenge but this is what our agency does,” Greene said. “This is what we are trained to do and disaster response is what we are chartered by Congress to do.”

Volunteers have been deployed to help with mass care and sheltering, health services, mental health services and coordinating response agencies.

Volunteer Andrew Enos, of Brockton, spent two weeks in Texas to help with Harvey relief and returned to Massachusetts on Saturday. The next day he was pre-deployed for Irma.

The organization is also still sending volunteers to Houston as two health services workers were deployed Monday.

Deploying volunteers for Irma was tricky because the path kept changing.

“Two of our volunteers that we sent down originally were going to be sent to South Carolina, then sent to Georgia.” Greene said. “It took a day for them to get an assignment because they had to find out where they were most needed.”

Greene said the response is going to be long-term and that the organization is always seeking volunteers.

Individuals interested in volunteering can visit redcross.org.

“We’re looking to deploy more staff members which means our local staffing will be cut down, but we go where we are needed,” Greene said.

Donations can also be made at redcross.org, by calling 1-800-733-2767, or by texting IRMA or HARVEY to 90999 (to donate $10). Checks can also be mailed to the local chapter at 286 South Street in Hyannis.

Greene said the organization is transparent and people can specify where each dollar of their donations can go, whether it be Irma, Harvey or just overall hurricane relief.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

Material from the Associated Press was used in the article.

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