Thursday, June 2, 2016

Western and Central NY Volunteers Supporting Relief Efforts in Texas, Canada

A sixth volunteer from the Western and Central New York Region is supporting American Red Cross flood relief efforts in Texas, while two regional volunteers are assisting the Canadian Red Cross as they provide relief following recent wildfires in Alberta. 
Lee Campfield of the Tioga County community of Appalachin is departing for Texas for her third deployment to that region. Campfield will supervise mass care and bulk distribution activities. 
Diana McLaughlin of Rochester and Beth Shook of Cuba, N.Y. are already on location working in Staff Services. Louis (Jim) Iannettoni of Elbridge and Lorraine Morris of Bath are assisting with Disaster Services Technology, and Frank VanSickle of Cortland is supporting a virtual call center, conducting client interviews by phone to assess clients’ needs and to determine appropriate assistance. 
Some parts of Texas received 19 inches of rain over the holiday weekend. Since the beginning of the year, numerous storms have ravaged the state, displacing thousands of families and devastating homes and businesses. Houston, which has been hammered with severe weather and flooding for several months, was again in the storm’s path and people were forced to leave their homes. The threat isn’t over – weather experts predict flooding will continue for several more days. 
Meanwhile, Winnie Romeril of Prattsburg and Peggy McGee-Smith of Kenmore are supporting wildfire relief efforts in Canada’s Fort McMurray area. Romeril is working in Public Affairs, while McGee-Smith is providing Disaster Mental Health services. The fire forced over 80,000 people to evacuate and destroyed entire neighborhoods.