With Hurricane Irene expected to start pummeling the East Coast Saturday night, Toledo-area volunteers packed up and headed to areas that are expected to be hardest hit.
MedCorp Ambulance was deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Stewart Air Force base in New York, sending 10 ambulances and two command vehicles.
The Red Cross, which also sent an emergency response vehicle, deployed several volunteers.
Bob Custer of Pemberville and Rose Koch of Adrian took the Red Cross vehicle to Maryland to await further instruction on their assignment after the storm hits.
Kim Lemke of Toledo flew to New York Friday morning to support staffing efforts. Red Cross officials said she could be redeployed after the storm to support the New York or New England chapters of the Red Cross.
Gary Betway, “one of the most experienced disaster responders in the nation,” also left Friday for New York City where he will serve as a client casework manager for at least three weeks, Red Cross officials said.
Larry Coates of Ottawa County and Susan Krueger of Wood County will go to Boston where they will volunteer in mass-care shelters.
Red Cross officials are asking for blood donations in anticipation of the storm, which is predicted to be the East Coast’s biggest in 70 years.
To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.
The Red Cross and the Owens Community College Center for Emergency Preparedness, are offering “Disaster College” training for anyone willing to volunteer. Three classes must be completed to become a member of the Red Cross’ Disaster Services Human Resources System.
Volunteers will go through an interview process, online orientation, and online background check.
Classes are from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 7 and 8 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10.
Classes will be at the Center for Emergency Preparedness, 30150 Tracy Rd. in Lake Township. To enroll call 419-329-2533.
Donations are being collected by the ISOH/IMPACT.
It is seeking paper products, laundry detergent, new tents, tarps, blankets, and sleeping bags.
It also wants five-gallon lidded buckets with cleaning supplies, personal care items, first aid supplies, pet supplies, or canned and nonperishable food items.
Donations can be taken to ISOH/IMPACT’s Waterville distribution center, 905 Farnsworth Rd. in Waterville.
— Taylor Dungjen
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