By Brooke Snavely
Central Oregon Daily
Central Oregonians are on the way to Florida to be part of the disaster relief efforts in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian.
The storm is strengthening and could make landfall as a category four hurricane early next week.
Local Red Cross volunteer Jack Crowell spoke to us before boarding a flight for Jacksonville, Florida.
Crowell’s duty with the Red Cross is to deliver meals in a food truck.
The Bend resident has responded with the Red Cross to five hurricanes on the east coast the past four years.
“Look at all the trees and imagine them all knocked over. The homes are destroyed. People are without means. They don’t have a place to eat. They don’t have a place to stay. That’s why we have shelters and, obviously, feeding is a continuation of that,” Crowell said.
He is one of 15 Oregon Red Cross volunteers involved in the response effort. In coordination with government and community partners, Red Crossers are preparing shelters and warehouse locations, stocking food, cots, blankets and supplies to help people impact by Hurricane Dorian
“As the storm gets closer and we better understand the events, the outcomes and impacts of the storm, we’ll adjust the type of people that are going in response to those local needs,” said Dale Kunce, CEO of the Cascade Region Red Cross. “So, do we need more people for sheltering? Do we need more people to feed? Do we need more people to provide supplies to help clean out houses? Do we just need more people to be there to lend a helping hand or to be there for a hug?”
Red Cross relief services and supplies are provided free of charge. Crowell describes them as a gift from the American people.
“It does feel good to help. I go for two weeks. I have empathy for the people who are there but I know I can get on a plane and leave in two weeks. It’s difficult, it’s difficult.”