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Greenville Volunteer Heading to Philippines to Help in Typhoon Cleanup
DARKE COUNTY -- A Greenville man is on his way to the Philippines to help relief efforts following a category 5 typhoon.
The Associated Press is reporting that as many as 10,000 people might have died as a result of the storm. The American Red Cross says 4.3 million have been affected and 1,200 evacuation centers are housing more than 330,000 people left homeless.
The American Red Cross deployed two disaster relief specialists on Saturday to assist in the assessment and relief efforts. Since communication is still very limited in the hardest hit communities, the American Red Cross will also send two telecommunication specialists and a satellite system in the coming days.
One of the two specialists is from Greenville. The Red Cross is identifying him only as J.W.
J.W. is a Darke County Chapter disaster volunteer, who also specializes in International Disaster services. He flew out of Dayton International Airport early Sunday, making a stop in Washington, D.C., to pick up additional communications gear, before boarding an international flight early Monday morning.
The Red Cross says J.W. will then meet up with another specialist. These two volunteers are part of a select team who train, drill, maintain equipment and work with volunteers across the world, ready to deploy, during these kinds of situation.
Volunteers, including J.W., met in Austria this summer, training to set satellites in mountainous terrain, spending five days in the Alps working together to respond.
J.W. will be setting up communications when he arrives in the Philippines.
We are so very proud to be able to respond in this way, said Trish Smitson, Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region CEO. Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this terrible natural disaster and the volunteers that are helping.
The Red Cross has activated its family tracing services. If you are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phones lines are down and continue trying. If you are still unable to reach them, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a tracing case.
Philippine Red Cross volunteer rescue and relief teams are providing assistance in the hardest hit communities, including assisting in search and rescue efforts and distributing food and relief supplies to survivors.
Help people affected by the Pacific Typhoon by going to http://www.redcross.org/ or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or mail in your donation to your local Red Cross chapter. For corporate or larger community fundraising events, please contact your local Red Cross chapter.
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