Photo: AP A New York City taxi is stranded in deep water on Manhattan’s West Side as Tropical Storm Irene passes through the city, in New York August 28, 2011
Photo: AP A New York City taxi is stranded in deep water on Manhattan’s West Side as Tropical Storm Irene passes through the city, in New York August 28, 2011

BY CORALIE MATAYOSHI FOR THE RED CROSS – Local Hawaii Red Cross volunteers are on standby to deploy, if needed, within 24 hours to assist in American Red Cross hurricane preparation and relief efforts as Hurricane Irene hits the East Coast.  Another 20 volunteers would be ready to deploy over the next few weeks, if needed.  Volunteers could serve a variety of functions such as sheltering, feeding, logistics, health services, mental health, and disaster assessment.

Last night, the American Red Cross operated or supported 150 shelters for over 13,000 residents, and is prepared to open dozens more shelters up and down the East Coast as the storm progresses.  In the past few days, over 2,500 people have downloaded the Red Cross shelter app to find out which shelters are open.

Red Cross relief operations have been launched in over a dozen coastal states with thousands of trained disaster volunteers are helping out. Over 200 feeding vehicles are positioned along the East Coast and tens of thousands of prepackaged meals are being pre-positioned in the area.

The Red Cross Safe and Well website is a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps keep people connected with each other during emergencies.  People on the East Coast can register to let their friends and family know where they are by going to www.redcross.org.

The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others. Your gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in your community, across the country and around the world.  To send a contribution, mail your check to:

American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI  96816

 Make a secure online donation at www.hawaiiredcross.org or call:  (808) 739-8109.

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