Multnomah County

Area Red Cross sends helpers to Hurricane Michael

Red Cross Cascades is recruiting more volunteers to help with disaster relief

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- The Red Cross Disaster Relief has already deployed more than a dozen volunteers from the area to help those whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Michael, and the agency is still looking for more people to send.

Hurricane Michael brought strong winds and heavy rain to the Florida Panhandle and beyond. People  lost their homes, some lost everything they owned -- and others lost their lives, so the Red Cross is rushing in to help.

"And so that's what we're doing -- we're there providing comfort for them, providing hope," Amelia Holmes, the regional communications manager for Red Cross Cascades, said. 

The Red Cross Cascades, from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, will host a training event in Salem to recruit new volunteers who are interested in serving as disaster responders.

Red Cross Cascades has already sent 13 people to Florida, Georgia and Alabama to help Hurricane Michael victims.

Russel Wolfram is from the Portland area and currently on the ground in Tallahassee, Florida.

"It's a mess, it's a mess, but people are coming together," he told KOIN 6 News. "I've seen convoys of utility trucks, convoys of relief workers coming into the area. These kind of things tend to bring out the best in community involvement and the best in people."

National deployments usually last two weeks -- and the only requirement for disaster relief volunteers is to be 18 years old.

"They're the people who are in the shelters, helping feed people, get them the things that they need," Holmes said. 

With the levels of disasters across the country, Red Cross Cascades is on a push for recruiting volunteers.

"We are just trying to make sure we have as many people as we possibly can who are ready to go," Holmes added.

For those who are interested in learning more about how you can volunteer, head to Red Cross Cascades website, Facebook or Twitter pages.

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