Red Cross Volunteers from Missouri head to various states to battle wildfires and hurricanes

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Relief agencies and volunteers from the Ozarks are preparing to help those impacted by Hurricane Ida. Volunteers are preparing for the landfall of the storm in Louisiana late Sunday.

Two Red Cross volunteers from Southwest Missouri were sent to Louisiana to help prepare for the hurricane. Ida is anticipated to have over 100 miles an hour winds, storm surges 9 feet or higher, and possible tornadoes.

“Every disaster is unique,” Shelter Manager Supervisor Morgan Gonzalez said. “Whether it’s a single-family home local to Springfield or out in Forsyth that disaster is just as real to one family and neighbors affected.”

Gonzalez has been a shelter supervisor for 9 years. He said he won’t stop helping others.

“I choose to serve because it’s the right thing to do,” Gonzalez said. “It grounds me in my own life to know that at this moment in their lives they’ve been affected differently than my family has. It allows me moments to reflect on the many blessings in my life.”

Red Cross has also sent volunteers to California to battle the Caldor Fire. The Caldor fire has burned roughly 149-thousand acres and destroyed 469 homes.

“The Red Cross shelters housed about 530 people in approximately 25 different shelters,” Public Affairs Officer Kim Mailes said.

Mailes arrived in Sacramento Wednesday. He will stay for 2 weeks to help tell people’s stories.

“I’ve been in the Cameron Park California Shelter, Green Valley Shelter, and Rolling Hills Shelter,” Mailes said. “All of these are in the Sierra Nevada Foothills which is about an hour east from Sacramento.”

Mailes said the Sacramento metropolitan area is the most smoked.

“Emergencies don’t wait for the weather or pandemics,” Mailes said. “Emergencies require us to respond. And that’s the red crosses job.”

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