Friday, January 4, 2013

Niagara Falls Volunteer Leaving Friday for Third Sandy Relief Deployment

Mike Hoplight one of 44 WNY volunteers deployed since storm hit

Mike Hoplight serving at the Manhattan headquarters
of the American Red Cross in Greater NY in Nov. 2012
BUFFALO, NY, January 4, 2013 – Volunteer Mike Hoplight of Niagara Falls will be deploying Friday to assist in the ongoing Superstorm Sandy relief efforts of the American Red Cross for a third time. Hoplight will be flying out of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport at 3pm on his way to Princeton, NJ, where he will work in Government Operations.

Hoplight first deployed three days before Sandy’s landfall in New York State to help lead the Red Cross response, working in both Shelter Management and Government Operations before returning home after 20 days. Following a short, five-day break, Hoplight returned downstate to assist those affected by this devastating storm for an additional 23 days, including Thanksgiving, serving as an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) Manager.

Hoplight has been on more than 15 disaster deployments during more than a decade as a Red Cross volunteer. In September 2011, he served as Shelter Manager at a mega-shelter at SUNY Binghamton that had more than 1,700 residents following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, and in early 2012 Hoplight spent over four months at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan serving as Assistant Station Manager as part of Red Cross Services to Armed Forces.

44 Red Cross volunteers from the Western New York region have deployed to assist in the relief efforts since Sandy devastated the East Coast in late October, and seven of them, including Hoplight, have done multiple deployments. Approximately 1,000 Red Cross workers are still on the ground supporting survivors as longer-term recovery efforts begin. Red Cross caseworkers are working with thousands of people to connect them with resources to help them recover from Sandy’s devastation. In addition, to date the Red Cross has distributed more than 6.7 million relief and clean-up items and provided more than 9.6 million meals and snacks since Sandy came ashore. For more information regarding the Red Cross response to Sandy, please click here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Local Red Cross Responds to 11 Fires over Holidays

Disaster Action Team assisting 40 residents of Erie and Niagara Counties

BUFFALO, NY, January 2, 2013 – The American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties responded to 11 separate fires between December 21, 2012 and January 1, 2013. Volunteers and staff members from the Disaster Action Team (DAT) sacrificed a portion of their Holiday week to provide immediate emergency assistance to 40 local residents affected by these incidents, which are listed below.

Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing, as well as providing emotional support for those displaced by the fire. The affected families then meet with caseworkers in the days following their respective disasters to work out a longer-term recovery plan.

The Disaster Action Team is a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information on becoming Disaster Action Team member, please call (716) 878-2140 or visit

Nationally, the American Red Cross responds to as many as 170 home fires a day. As temperatures drop, the Red Cross offers several safety tips to avoid home fires this winter.

The American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties spends an average of just over $1,000 when responding to a single house fire affecting a family of four.  To make a financial donation to help families such as these affected by house fires and other disasters down the street, across the country, or around the world, please visit, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to charge a $10 donation to your cell phone bill.


·         12/21: Prospect Avenue, Buffalo; 4 clients
·         12/22: Eller Avenue, Buffalo; 7 clients
·         12/22: Pyle Court, Tonawanda; 3 clients
·         12/23: Williamtowne Court, Cheektowaga; 1 client
·         12/23: Gates Avenue, Lackawanna; 5 clients
·         12/24: Margaret Road, Amherst; 6 clients
·         12/24: Pletcher Road, Youngstown; 5 clients
·         12/26: Pleasant Avenue, Hamburg; 0 clients
·         12/27: Dodge Street, Buffalo; 6 clients
·         12/29: Edison Avenue, Buffalo; 2 clients
·         12/31: Krull Parkway, Niagara Falls; 1 client