Super storm Sandy has left more than 100 people dead and thousands displaced from their homes on the east coast. Today (Friday) the Utah chapter of the American Red Cross deployed three of its four Emergency Response Vehicles to support those in New York and New Jersey. American Red Cross Utah Region CEO Maxine Margaritis says the ERV’s will be used as fixed and mobile feeding stations.
“It’s a really wonderful way to deliver service in an event like this because we can actually go where the people are. Those vehicles are led by volunteers, they provide hot meals, water, they provide emotional support, clean up kits, comfort kits, and so forth,”she says.
245 Emergency Responsive Vehicles are currently in service, approximately two-thirds of the nation’s fleet. Support services have been extended to Staten Island, Long Island, Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Julie Wulf, CEO of American Red Cross Blood Services in the Salt Lake region, says about 360 blood drives were cancelled on the east coast due to the storm. She says local donors are needed to make up for the loss of nearly 12,000 units of blood.
“Across the rest of the company we are trying to increase our collections of blood donors here locally and areas that have not been impacted so we can ship blood products to the east coast. We have been doing that over this week and will continue to do that until we are no longer needed,” she says.
Along with Utah’s three Emergency Response Vehicles, 11 volunteer emergency relief specialists from Utah have been deployed to the east coast to assist in the emergency response.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon urges Utahns to the support the American Red Cross in its relief efforts.