Local Red Cross sends aid

Chapter to provide assistance in Carolinas

LIBERTY — The American Red Cross Lake to River Chapter is sending both volunteers and aid to provide assistance as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolina coast.

Melissa Papini, disaster program manager, said 19 trained volunteers from the chapter’s five-county area in northeastern Ohio, as well as supplies, have been sent. More will be sent next week.

“We have sent trailers full of cots and blankets and emergency response vehicles. Our volunteers will join 1,600 nationwide in the area. They left this week as part of a pre-deployment ahead of the storm,” she said.

The next group of volunteers will head out over the weekend and early next week to provide additional support.

Papini said four residents from Trumbull and Mahoning counties already left, with seven more set to deploy next week.

Steven Andrews of Youngstown, a Kent State University undergraduate community health care student interning at the chapter, will be deploying for the Carolinas on Monday. He said this will be his first deployment ever.

Andrews said he will go to Raleigh, North Carolina, and then will find out where he will go.

“I will be working mainly in shelters as a disaster specialist helping families with whatever their needs may be. I will also help in warehouses stocking emergency supplies and disaster materials,” he said.

“Everything could change so quickly depending on the hurricane,” said Papini, adding there is also Red Cross staffing in Virginia.

Andrews said he volunteered and checked to see if an intern could be deployed, which was approved. He completed all the necessary training.

“I am excited for the experience and looking forward to helping people. I never expected my internship to include this,” he said.

Papini said monetary donations to redcross.org are accepted that will cover costs to transport items. Monetary donations can be made online or at the office, 3530 Belmont Ave, Suite 7. For information, call the chapter at 330-392-2551.