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Central New York Volunteers Ready to Deploy for Sandy

SYRACUSE, NY – The American Red Cross Central New York Region is expected to send more than 20 volunteers to New York City, New Jersey or other areas along the East Coast that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

The Central New York Region covers 16 counties from the Canadian border to the Pennsylvania border.

The volunteers will perform a variety of duties, including disaster assessment, mass care sheltering and mass care feeding.

The volunteers will be notified tonight and leave for their assignments by Wednesday afternoon.

On Monday night, the Central New York Region opened two shelters because of power outages, one in Lee Center (Oneida County) and one in Oneonta (Otsego County). A total of 15 residents spent the night in the shelters, which were closed Tuesday morning when the residents were able to return to their homes.

“We were very fortunate that Central New York did not feel the brunt of Hurricane Sandy,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of the Central New York Region. “Now our focus turns to our volunteers who will help with the response effort, and raising money for our neighbors along the East Coast because this will be a large and costly relief operation.”

The American Red Cross is continuing a major relief operation throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to shelter and assist people affected by Superstorm Sandy. Millions awoke this morning to power outages, fallen trees, scattered debris, and flooded neighborhoods and the Red Cross is working hard to get help where it is needed.

Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in more than 250 Red Cross shelters across 16 states including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Indiana, and Michigan. These numbers could increase as the storm moves into cities like Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee with heavy wind, rain and snow.

The Red Cross has mobilized 1,700 disaster workers from all over the country who have served more than 25,000 meals and snacks so far.

The Red Cross has also activated 167 response vehicles and shipped in more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals.

This is a huge disaster, bigger than any one organization can handle and the Red Cross is working closely with multiple partners including a variety of civic groups, advocacy organizations, professional organizations and houses of worship to share their expertise and volunteers.