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San Diego Red Cross Workers Deployed To Hurricane’s Path

Above: Red Cross volunteers register New Jersey residents at a shelter in Pleasantville.

Aired 10/30/12 on KPBS News.

San Diego Red Cross workers were deployed to the East Coast to assist those displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Two San Diego Red Cross workers joined more than 1,300 other disaster responders along the East Coast to help those affected by the massive storm.

Rick Hinrichs, director of disaster services is in New York, while Teri Klemchuck, communications coordinator, is in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Klemchuck said she's helping with evacuations and emergency shelter operations, and plans to stay as long as she’s needed.

"As someone from San Diego, I’ve never experienced a hurricane. It’s definitely big," Klemchuck said. "And everyone here is taking it very seriously. Streets are starting to flood and it’s really starting to hit. So were making sure everyone’s comfortable, providing meals in the shelter, cots, blankets, basic needs."

Klemchuck said residents she’s talked to are taking the storm warnings very seriously and heeding orders to protect themselves.

More than 320,000 people were evacuated to Red Cross shelters in nine states as of Monday afternoon. The storm is expected to impact nearly 60 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Red Cross Statement:

To find a shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS or check local media outlets. They should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

GET READY NOW The Red Cross urges everyone to make their final storm preparations today. Sandy is expected to have a huge impact in the Mid-Atlantic region, stretching north to New England and toward the Midwest. Millions of people could lose power for several days. Gale force winds are expected, accompanied by several inches of rain throughout the storm. Flooding could occur as far west as parts of Ohio. In areas like West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, several feet of snow could occur.

Important information about how to get ready for the storm – steps to take for emergencies like FLOODING, POWER OUTAGES, even WINTER WEATHER - is available on the Red Cross web site.Videos are also available to help people get prepared, including information on severe weather preparedness and how to get ready for winter weather.

RED CROSS APPS People should download the free Red Cross Hurricane and First Aid apps for mobile devices to have emergency information at their fingertips. The Hurricane App keeps people up to date on the situation with weather alerts, locations of Red Cross shelters, and features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media sites to tell family and friends they are okay. And it’s available in Spanish by changing the language setting on someone’s smart phone to Spanish before downloading. The First Aid app includes expert advice for everyday emergencies. The apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

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