Local Tri-Cities residents Byron and Beatriz Corley, of Union City, are among the thousands of Red Cross volunteers helping with relief efforts on the east coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The Corleys flew out the morning of Friday, Nov. 2 and are stationed in New Jersey, where they are distributing supplies to families and individuals impacted by the storm.
A longtime Red Cross volunteer, Byron Corley shares with Patch his accounts of volunteering during a superstorm.
Saturday, Nov. 3
After getting to our assigned destination here in Highlands, New Jersey,
my wife and I are busy helping run a shelter set up at Henry Hudson Regional School.
We have approximately 50 clients here at the shelter so far but expect many more. The school had been opened up by locals and were providing basic shelter, bedding and food to the affected residents. The locals were doing a marvelous job. They have been here from the beginning and we are trying to augment their efforts without pushing them out.
We have had delivery last night of cots, bedding, basic hygiene kits, etc. We expect delivery of food today. The cafeteria in the school has been serving meals donated by local businesses and restaurants. The Red Cross volunteers are slowly taking on more and more of the workload and the Red Cross delivered supplies are more than adequate.
Most clients in the shelter have lost almost all of their possessions and in some cases are completely homeless, destitute and broke. I have not taken any photos or toured any affected areas, but I did meet a local professional photographer who asked me to go to his Facebook page and view the pictures he has taken to chronicle the disaster. He is taking these pictures in conjunction with the city fathers who will use them later on.
Today (Saturday) is the first time I have had an internet connection. Most businesses are closed because of electricity outages and gas stations have lines that are miles long. Most of the gas stations are closed but the few open ones are swamped. Police are everywhere and tell me they are on mandatory 12-hour shifts with no days off. Most of the officers I have spoken with are from out of town and coming from every part of the state.
For local, up-to-the-minute coverage of Hurricane Sandy, visit www.patch.com for affiliate sites on the east coast.
To make a donation and help support American Red Cross Disaster Relief, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross Chapters.
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