By Robb Murray
Free Press Staff Writer
As soon as they know what specifically is needed, the Mankato chapter of the American Red Cross will send volunteer help to the East Coast as they deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Beth Lapp, director of operations, said Monday morning they’ve already got volunteers who are ready to go at a moment’s notice, including people who specialize in mental health, shelter work, mass care and other areas.
But until the national office sends word, Lapp said, they’re not sure exactly who will be sent. A lot will depend on transportation. For now, all travel in the areas most likely to be affected most has been halted.
“Right now we have people willing to go out,” Lapp said. “They have all their stuff ready to do.”
Most likely they’ll be sending the Mankato office’s Emergency Response Vehicle. It could be a lot more volunteers, or it could be less.
“We’re very fortunate,” Lapp said, “in that we have a real diverse cache of volunteers.”
For now they wait. Calls will go out first to the Red Cross chapters closest to the affected area, but eventually they’ll call out to offices farther away to send help. When the call goes out, Lapp says only then will they know which of their ready volunteers to send.
“By (Tuesday) we should have some idea of what’s going on,” Lapp said. “We’ll know the hardest hit areas.”