Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Returning Volunteers Share Stories of CNY Relief Efforts

Diane Sargent of Lockport sent this picture
of the flooding in Onieda during the first of
her two deployments to assist in the relief efforts.
Once again, our incredible volunteers have come through to help our neighbors in need, this time a little closer to home. A total of 29 volunteers from the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions have deployed as part of the flooding relief efforts in Central New York. While many of them--including Chief Disaster Officer Ken Turner, who is leading the operation in CNY--remain deployed, some of the volunteers have started making their way back home.

"I saw people in different stages of exhaustion," Carmella Bartimole, a Disaster Mental Health volunteer from Olean, said of her first deployment. "Some had just finished cleaning up, and then were flooded out again. People told me they had lived there their whole life and never seen anything like this."

Volunteers hand out water and clean-up items to area residents
"When I was out in the community doing Disaster Assessment, I saw some houses with water in their first floor, others whose basements were full of water," said Norm Kehl of Strykersville, who also worked in Bulk Distribution during his deployment to the Little Falls and Herkimer area. "We went to a store parking lot with 3-4 trucks filled with water, clean-up kits and other items. They were wiped out. People were very receptive, thinking us for being there."

"I think it was a source of comfort for people to see the American Red Cross on the scene," added Bartimole, who says she is looking forward to deploying again. "It refurbished my faith in people, seeing the community come together like that."

Monday, July 8, 2013

Niagara Falls Emergency Response Vehicle Deploying to CNY for Flooding Response

Third ERV from WNY/Finger Lakes Regions to assist in relief efforts

BUFFALO, NY, July 8, 2013 – The American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties is deploying an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV), based in Niagara Falls, to the Central New York region to assist in the ongoing relief efforts following massive flooding in the area. Volunteers Joy Bidlack of East Aurora and Diane Sargent of Lockport will be meeting the ERV at the Chapter’s Administrative Headquarters at 786 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo Monday at approximately 9:30am and driving to the Utica headquarters to receive specific assignments.

Flooding in Oneida as seen by
Diane Sargent last week.
This is the third ERV from the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions to deploy to the Utica area to assist in this response. The ERVs, including those deployed earlier from Jamestown and Rochester, will deliver food, water, clean-up kits and other supplies directly into some of the hardest-hit areas. Through Saturday night, the American Red Cross had provided 315 overnight shelter stays, nearly 20,000 meals and snacks, and more than 2,100 clean-up kits and comfort kids to residents affected by the floods.
The American Red Cross on Sunday continued mobile feeding in Oneida and Herkimer Counties, and it will provide mobile feeding and mobile distribution of clean-up supplies in the city of Oneida Monday.
Also on Sunday, the Red Cross closed its shelter at the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley at 701 Seneca St., Oneida. Other Red Cross shelters that were opened last week have been closed. The Red Cross has shelters on standby if more flooding creates the need for additional shelters.
A total of 28 volunteers from the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions have been deployed to assist in this relief effort, with one additional volunteer deploying to Arizona to assist in the ongoing wildfire relief efforts there. This also marks Diane Sargent’s second deployment as part of the Central New York relief efforts. A full list of deployed volunteers is below, listed in order of their deployment date (two ERV drivers from Southwestern New York have asked to remain anonymous):

Stephen Erbland      
Ari Gottlib          
Michael Hoplight
Niagara Falls
External Relations
Tony Muscolino
Finger Lakes
External Relations
Sarah Perkins
Disaster Assessment
Diane Sargent
Disaster Assessment/ERV
Gary Thompson
Finger Lakes
Disaster Assessment
Mary Walls
Disaster Assessment (Returned Home)
Patricia Jung
Staff Services
Stuart Moore    
Marianne Evans
Jennifer Godbout
Norm Kehl
Disaster Assessment
Carmella Bartimole
Disaster Mental Health
Edward Steinhauer
Disaster Assessment
Emily Upham
Health Services
Tom Daley
Client Casework
Ruth Walters   
Disaster Assessment
Kenneth Turner
Operations Management
Elizabeth Shook
Staff Services
Leslie Mangano
Client Casework
Peggy McGee-Smith
Disaster Mental Health (Arizona)
Sharon Scarafia-Kimble
Bulk Distribution
Arline Cookingham
Health Services
Joe Louis
Staff Services
Joy Bidlack
East Aurora
Stephen Brown
Finger Lakes
Staff Services

HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like floods, wild fires and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.