Posted at: 10/29/2012 7:15 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
Local Volunteers Prepare for Sandy
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- People from our area have gone to help out on the east coast. Our local Red Cross has already sent two volunteers to assist with the storm and more are prepared to go if needed.
"They kind of widen the circle as they need more people," said Joellen Barak, Communications and Donor Management for the Rochester and Winona chapters.
Two specialized volunteers have already left. Gary Peterson of Spring Valley was sent to New York City. He will oversee everything from communications to food to shelters. Barry Altman of Plymouth is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with Disaster Services Technology and more may be on the way.
"We're just getting the word out to the volunteers that deployment is a possibility. Um, most, especially ones with experience are going to know that with a storm like this, getting ready to hit, there's a good possibility that we'll need some people," said Barak.
Volunteers enter information on a website, detailing their availability.
"Each person is assigned what they're trained to do and they can just check I do these, these, and these and I'm available this time and this time and this time," Barak added.
And then volunteers wait for the call letting them know where they are needed. Most of the time, they only have between 12 and 24 hours to prepare.
"Like all disasters, you get yourself ready," said Gayle Gorman.
Gorman has been to several disasters including Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in Duluth. She's so prepared that she even voted absentee in case she's needed.
"It's kind of exciting for us I mean cause you go there, you want to help the people. That's the main goal," said Gorman.
Gorman would most likely be sent in after the disaster, to help people get back in their homes.
"You go in and the first few days are very hectic."
But as hectic as it might be, the Red Cross hopes to be prepared.
The Red Cross says this disaster is going to be very expensive. They say the best way to help is to donate money.