HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Hawaii Red Cross is sending five volunteers to be deployed to Georgia to help with Hurricane Dorian preparations.
“When these kinds of things happen, we call down for volunteers so that they can tell us when they’re available, and they might have to be available within 24 hours,” said Coralie Matayoshi, Red Cross Pacific Island Region CEO.
Not only do they have to be ready to go, they have to be prepared for any situation.
“They’re going to be sleeping in staff shelters. The conditions might be harsh. They might not have bath for a while. They just have to be ready for anything,” said Matayoshi.
Along with clothes for any weather, they have to bring pillows, blankets, toiletries, and a first aid kit.
Matayoshi said the volunteers are picked based on their experience with disaster events and their training.
“We also match them up with what is needed, so if they say we really need mental health workers or nurses, then we’ll ask for those,” said Matayoshi.
This time around, volunteers will be assisting with mental health, sheltering, planning and logistics.
She said volunteers who get deployed to disasters nationally often come back to lead disaster relief efforts here at home.
“We really like to send people because then they get that kind of experience. You can practice all you want, but if you haven’t been in a major storm, then when we get hit, it’s going to be hard to adjust,” said Matayoshi.