by Doris Wolf
DEPLOYS WITH RED CROSS
TO HELP WITH
HURRICANE ISAAC CLEANUP
Seneca Falls — Jackie Wooden has always wanted to see New Orleans. “But not like this,” she said as she prepared to deploy to Port Allen, Louisiana to help after Hurricane Isaac ravaged the Gulf Coast.
Wooden will assist in recruiting, processing, and placing volunteers who are showing up to help with the massive cleanup effort under way in Plaquemine’s Parish. She joined Red Cross in October 2007 at the request of the state Emergency Management Office. Wooden, who works in the Office of Alcoholism and Drug Treatment, is involved with the state emergency crisis response. She has twice responded to floods in the Southern Tier for the EMO.
As a Red Cross volunteer, Wooden responded to the Thruway bus crash and helped open a shelter at Seneca Falls high school following a microburst earlier this year.
She said she’s excited to go on her first national deployment. “I’ve never been to Louisiana, but this is not how I thought I’d see it,” she said “I hope I get to have some gumbo while I’m there.”
Emergency services Director Cheryl Hoggard said 2,700 volunteers have been deployed to the Gulf Coast to respond to Hurricane Isaac. As of Monday, 830 people still remained in 16 Red Cross shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi. She said volunteers have served 267,000 meals to disaster victims since the hurricane hit on August 27.
“We need your help,” Hoggard said. “This is a very large relief response that will last a long time.”
Locally, fall disaster classes are scheduled to help train new Red Cross volunteers. The series of fall disaster classes will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 12. All classes are free and will be taught at the third floor conference center, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 308 Main Street Shop Center, Waterloo.. For more information, call the Red Cross office at 315 568-9436 or check out the website at www.redcrossfingerlakes.org.
The Red Cross will be in the Gulf Coast for weeks helping people recover, Hoggard said, and after a difficult summer of responding to wildfires, power outages and floods, Red Cross resources are stretched. People can click or text to donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.