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Disaster Workers Head to Florida

Ten locals will be helping Floridians survive Tropical Storm Isaac, not the Republican National Convention.

A delegation of locals is heading to Florida this weekend, but politics and the are not on the agenda.

Seven Santa Cruz County residents and three people from Santa Clara County plan to leave Friday to volunteer witth the American Red Cross in Miami and Tampa as . It's expected Issac will hit Florida on Sunday or Monday.

The volunteers are all working with the Santa Cruz County Chapter of the American Red Cross to provide asisstance.

Watsonville residents Craig Jenni and Devinder Khanna; Santa Cruz residents Alan Mayfield and Margaret Joan Cunningham; Thomas Cundiff of Santa Clara, Leonard Davis of Live Oak; and Howard Yancy of Felton will be working in shelters, caring for those who have been evacuated.

Ellen Dellmora of Santa Cruz will be supervising a team of Emergency Response Vehicle drivers.

Rada Ford of Mountain View and Jann McCord of San Jose will provide counseling and emotional support.

These locally trained volunteers will be on disaster assignment for two to three weeks and most have been on disaster assignment before.

“As Isaac travels northward, we’re getting ready to help people in Florida,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services.

The American Red Cross is preparing to open dozens of shelters across Florida, and moving hundreds of trained disaster workers into the state. There are 22 Red Cross emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 more are moving into the state in advance of the storm with an additional 78 on stand-by if needed. The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies to send to Florida and Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship emergency supplies if necessary.

For those with friends and family in the storm's projected path, the Red Cross Safe and Well website is available to help people let loved ones know where they are. There are several ways to register on Safe and Well, or search for a loved one. From a computer, visit redcross.org; from a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected with one’s local Red Cross chapter.

The American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Cruz County residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at www.sccredcross.org or call us at 831-462-2881. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

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