Northern Nevada Red Cross disaster relief worker deploys to Hawaii to assist with wildfire relief

Submitted to the Tribune

RENO, Nev. — An American Red Cross of Northern Nevada disaster volunteer will deploy to Hawaii on Aug. 11, to assist with wildfire relief efforts. She will be part of the first wave of Red Cross volunteers from across the country heading to Maui in response to the catastrophic wildfires.

Most of the fires on Maui are still burning, forcing thousands of residents and tourists to evacuate. Trained Red Cross disaster workers in Hawaii responded immediately when the fires started on Tuesday, including opening and supporting shelters for evacuees. Local Red Crossers will soon be joined by dozens of volunteers in this initial wave of deployments to assist with disaster relief.

Volunteer Barbara Kramer from Reno will leave early Friday for an at least three-week deployment to Hawaii, where she’ll join other Red Crossers in support of mass care, logistics, sheltering and other services for people in need. “Barb will join other Red Cross volunteers who are coordinating closely with community and government partners to ensure people have the help they need,” said Heidi Ruster, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region. “Our Northern Nevada Red Cross team has shown unwavering dedication and I am incredibly proud of their commitment.”

The American Red Cross mobilized teams across multiple islands to establish shelters and provide urgent relief to affected communities. The wildfires, which began on Tuesday, have already devastated hundreds of homes and businesses, claiming at least 36 lives, making it one of the deadliest fires in recent U.S. history. Fueled by an exceptionally dry summer and intensified by winds from a distant hurricane, the fire has ravaged the island, including the historic town of Lahaina, Hawaiian officials reported.

“More help is on the way as Red Cross disaster teams are deploying to Hawaii from across the country,” Ruster said. “We want to help make sure everyone impacted by the disaster has a safe place to stay, food to eat, critical relief supplies, emotional support and comfort in the face of this devastating fire. We have dedicated volunteers like Barb who will help make a difference in the lives of those in need.”

Kramer, a 10-year Red Cross volunteer, returned to Reno just two weeks ago from a deployment to Vermont helping with the disaster relief from catastrophic flooding in that area. She has deployed at least 20 times to help those in need. “During all my deployments, I know that my work, and the work of all the Red Cross volunteers, is going to help make the lives better of those facing such a terrifying disaster,” she said.

How can you help the people Hawaii’s wildfires
Make a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visitredcross.orgor, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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