The Oregon Red Cross sent 16 volunteers to the East Coast, to assist in relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Most of those volunteers left on Saturday as a part of a nationwide group.
The Red Cross pulled volunteers from several different chapters in the state including Salem, Medford, Eugene, and Portland.
Eric Corliss is Oregon’s chief operating officer for the Red Cross. He says this is one of the biggest natural disasters he’s worked on.
“For me I’ve responded to September 11 in New York and I was stationed in Baton Rouge supporting New Orleans for Katrina and a lot of other disasters, and this is high up there in the top five, as a look at the scope, and as it has been nicknamed ‘The Frankenstorm,’ The convergence of particular conditions — this could have a significant impact.”
Corliss says one his major challenges was finding people in Oregon with the right skills, who were able to travel quickly before airports closed.
The Red Cross might send more volunteers if the situation worsens.
Corliss says it’s important to balance the needs of the East Coast with the demand for Red Cross volunteers in Oregon.
He says about 11 homes are lost every week in the state, for a variety of reasons.