ALBANY - The American Red Cross of Northeastern New York is reaching out to its trained volunteers in advance of possible deployment to tornado-ravaged Oklahoma.
The Red Cross said in a press release Tuesday that it is contacting local disaster responders to update their availability and is awaiting a request from Red Cross National Headquarters to send trained volunteers to the hardest-hit areas near Oklahoma City.
In response to past disasters, the Red Cross' northern New York chapter has sent volunteers into the field when they're needed, including to New Jersey and downstate New York in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Locally, dozens of volunteers assisted in the recovery efforts after hurricanes Irene and Lee.
In 1999, the NENY Chapter sent volunteers into the same region of Oklahoma after a series of devastating tornadoes. At least two of those deployed in 1999 are still on the Northeastern New York Chapter's active volunteer list.
People who wish to support the Red Cross response in Oklahoma and elsewhere can visit www.redcross.org and pledge online, text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or dial 1-800-REDCROSS.
(Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the Red Cross of Northeastern New York is mobilizing its existing volunteers, not necessarily seeking new ones.)