UPDATE: Sunday, October 28, 2012
As each waves rolls in on along the Eastern Seaboard, another wave of volunteers rolls out to help with preparations for Hurricane Sandy.
"They are not getting paid for this, they're doing this because they care about helping their fellow man," Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter Spokesman James Williams said.
They include ten Red Cross volunteers from the Wichita area. The volunteers got the call Friday or Saturday, having to be ready at a moment's notice. They packed their bags and within a couple of hours left Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport Saturday for a location on the east coast.
"It just depends on where we can get them the soonest," Williams said.
Wherever they go, spokesman James Williams says they have plenty of training to rely upon.
"That training allows us to go in and get to work," Williams said.
The work will be primarily to help set up and run shelters, Williams said. Shelters are especially important in this case given tens of thousands of people have been ordered to leave their homes as emergency managers prepare for the worst.
"If the storm hits the way it's expected to, we could be without power for seven to ten days," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said at a news conference over the weekend.
Knowing all too well how important aid is during a natural disaster, the State of Kansas has sent an Incident Management Team to Maryland. The team left Sunday and is expected to be deployed through November 11, according to a written statement.
As volunteers help out far from Kansas, others here at home are providing shelter from the storm. In Topeka, the Kansas National Guard is sheltering six aircraft from Maryland's Andrews Air Force base.
But leaders say this is all just the preparation. Another wave of Kansas support could be needed after the storm actually hits.
"Everyone is going to hunker down and stay safe," Williams said. "Then after the storm actually makes landfall, we'll kick it back up a notch so we can help as many people as we can."
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Kansas is sending a state Incident Management Team to Maryland to support emergency responders in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
The IMT will leave Sunday, traveling by air to Maryland to work in the state's Emergency Operations Center in Reisterstown. The team will be deployed through Nov. 11 and will return to Kansas Nov. 12.
The Kansas National Guard will shelter military aircraft in Topeka from the soon to be hurricane-affected areas on the east coast.
"Kansas has been the recipient of a lot of assistance in the past, so we are happy to be able to help the East Coast in its time of need," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general and director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management. "We'll continue to monitor requests from our counterparts in the affected states and determine what other assistance we can provide."
Kansas has developed Incident Management Teams in each of its seven homeland security regions and the state team headed to Maryland is made up of members from the Northeast and North Central regions and state employees.
IMTs are comprised of emergency responders who can support disaster response needs throughout the state and country including planning, logistics, operations, safety and finance/administration.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to begin affecting the coast line Sunday evening, and hit parts of the east coast on Monday.