Local disaster volunteer heads to Louisiana

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

As the three year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, another storm is aiming for the Gulf Coast.

A local volunteer with the Yates County Red Cross is heading to Metairie, La. on Saturday, Aug. 30.  Sharon Tyo of Branchport will leave from the Greater Rochester International Airport at 7:25 a.m. Saturday morning. 

Tyo, who has been a Red Cross disaster volunteer for almost 30 years, will be supervising a shelter outside New Orleans. Tyo expects to be deployed for three weeks.

“I think in the past we weren’t as prepared as we could have been for something like this,” said Tyo. “Now we are getting people in place early so we can give the best care possible to the victims who will need our help.”

Hal Brink, who served during Hurricane Katrina, also plans to assist in response to Hurricane Gustav.  Brink is awaiting his assignment and expects to be deployed in the next several days. 

    As of Friday, Aug. 29, The Finger Lakes Region of the American Red Cross region is deploying 13 volunteers to Louisiana and Mississippi to prepare for Hurricane Gustav.

“The Red Cross is pre-deploying volunteers to be in place to bring relief to individuals immediately should Hurricane Gustav make landfall,” said Leighton Jones, Director of Disaster and Emergency Services at the Greater Rochester Red Cross. “Many volunteers will provide assistance of feeding, distributing meals, snacks, and water to affected communities. Others will provide counseling, help with sheltering by assisting individuals forced from their homes into Red Cross lodging, and damage assessment to determine the severity of destruction after the disaster.”

Those who would like to help the Red Cross aid victims of disaster, and those seeking more information about assistance should call the Greater Rochester Red Cross at 585-241-4417, toll free at 1-800-RED-CROSS, or visit us at www.RochesterRedCross.org.