Rosendale man heads east with Red Cross

James Patrenets of Rosendale heads out east as an American Red Cross volunteer to prepare for disaster assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Patrenets departed on Friday in an Emergency Response Vehicle. (Patrick Flood/The Reporter)

Written by Sharon Roznik The Reporter

Area volunteers with the American Red Cross departed Friday, heading east to support Hurricane Irene preparations and response.

Among them is James Patrenets, 63, of Rosendale, who is driving an Emergency Response Vehicle that traveled from Stevens Point and picked him up around noon at the Fond du Lac Red Cross headquarters, 272 N. Main St.

Emblazoned with the red and white colors of the Red Cross, the ERV will be loaded with food products that can be delivered to neighborhoods after Hurricane Irene hits land and passes through, said Steve Hansen, Red Cross regional chapter executive for Northeast Wisconsin.

 Irene is predicted to be the largest storm to hit the East Coast in more than 70 years and could threaten big population centers. The focus is on North Carolina.

More than 200 Red Cross mobile feeding vehicles, including another from Green Bay, are heading toward the coast to help people in the path of the storm.

 “With disasters of this magnitude, we deploy resources to provide canteen services to people affected by the storm,” Hansen said.

 The ERV’s and volunteers will arrive at a staging area along the East Coast. After damages are assessed, the vehicles will move in to affected areas, Hansen said.

 Volunteers will remain in the area for up to three weeks.

 For those with friends and family living along the East Coast, the Red Cross has set up Safe and Well, a secure easy-to-use online tool to help connect families in an emergency. People can register by visiting the Red Cross website or calling 1 (800) RED CROSS (1 (800) 733-2767).

 Donations can be made by visiting www.redcross.org.

Local volunteers help prepare for Hurricane Irene

 

GREEN BAY – Local Red Cross volunteers are headed to the East Coast to help those in the path of Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Irene is predicted to be the largest storm to hit the East Coast in more than 70 years.

An Emergency Response Vehicle, or ERV, from Green Bay and another from Stevens Point will be leaving this morning.  A volunteer from Manitowoc will be flying out for Rhode Island today to serve as a damage assessment supervisor.

Jerry Prellwitz of Green Bay will drive one of the ERVs along with another volunteer from Neenah.

“I just want to help people,” said Prellwitz. “I just feel this is my way of giving back and if somebody can use my help, I’ll lend it and I’ll give it to them.”

In addition, more than 200 Red Cross mobile feeding vehicles are heading towards the coast to help people in the path of the storm. Dozens of shelters are being prepared all along the East Coast.

“The Red Cross is moving volunteers, vehicles and supplies, getting ready for a response effort that spans nearly the entire East Coast,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “While we’re getting ready at the Red Cross, we want everyone in the storm’s path to get ready as well by getting a disaster kit, making a family emergency plan, and listening to local officials regarding evacuations.”

Irene could affect blood collections along the East Coast at a time when the nation’s blood supply is already low. The Red Cross is urging those who are eligible to give blood prior to the storm’s arrival.

American Red Cross disaster preparedness starts long before a hurricane makes landfall. On average, the Red Cross spends about $450 million on disaster relief every year.

If someone would like to support Red Cross disaster efforts, they can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

Disaster Volunteer, Dave Mooney on His First National Disaster Assignment

Local volunteer, Dave Mooney, is off on his first national disaster deployment. He and another trained Emergency Response Vehicle driver are on the road to Fargo, North Dakota. They will be providing food, water, hot coffee to the thousands of volunteers who are supporting sand bagging efforts, first responders and the community at-large. With the Red River near the flood stage, massive efforts have been taken to limit flood damage and the American Red Cross has shelters, food, clean-up kits and more ready if needed.