Red Cross deploys local disaster volunteers for Hurricane Irene

(FOX19) - With Hurricane Irene expected to make its first U.S. landfall as early as Friday night, the Cincinnati Region of the American Red Cross has so far deployed a total of 15 disaster volunteers to points along North Carolina and beyond.

In addition to manning two Emergency Relief Vehicles (ERV) volunteers will help with mass care and feeding, emergency shelter, mental health and emotional support services, basic first aid and health services, and provide distribute clean-up supplies and comfort items.

"The American Red Cross will ensure that everyone affected has their emergency needs met," said Regional Emergency Services Director, Fran O'Shaughnessy. "We are mobilizing to the East Coast, to make sure that anyone and everyone who could possibly be affected by the storm will have food, shelter, comfort and hope. We will continue to monitor the storm and deploy as the situation dictates."

Hurricane Irene is predicted to be the largest storm to hit the East Coast in more than 70 years and poses a major threat to millions of Americans in the area. American Red Cross Chapters have been preparing for Irene by opening shelters in North Carolina.

Dozens of additional shelters are being prepared along the East Coast in areas expected to be affected by this powerful storm. In addition, about 200 mobile feeding vehicles are heading towards the East Coast to help people who will be in the path of the storm.

American Red Cross disaster response depends on donations from the American public.

Financial contributions to American Red Cross Disaster Relief will allow us to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.

The best way for people in the local community to help those affected by Hurricane Irene is to make a donation by visiting, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or sending a check or money order to American Red Cross, PO Box 5216, Cincinnati, OH 45201-5216.

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