VICTORVILLE – Victor Valley residents heard about the need for volunteers, signed up, received some training and, next thing they knew they were off on a plane with the Red Cross to aid those impacted by hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida on September 10, 2017, impacting the lives of thousands. The death toll has risen to over 40, but officials say that the number will grow. The group deployed from the “Desert to Sea” region of the American Red Cross. The “Desert to Sea” region includes those from Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Coachella Valley/Morongo Basin.
The deployed group was comprised of people who were eager to help provide aid to those who desperately needed it after the hurricane ravaged through homes, schools, destroying much of what residents once found security in. Lives were lost and as the death toll rises, many continue to live in the hot weather, still without electricity. Some of the deaths were a result of the loss of electricity, so Red Cross crews are making sure that plenty of ice and water are getting to those living in these areas.
The group deployed from the “Desert to Sea” region to assist in the efforts included Hector Reyes, of Adelanto, Marty Pizarro, of Hesperia, Joann Canafax, of Adelanto, and Jim Lyon, of Big Bear. “It’s our first time being deployed, except for Jim Lyon who has been on several deployments,” said Joann Canafax. “Jim and Hector are running Shelters while Marty and I are doing bulk distribution, which consists of taking truckloads of supplies to several small towns. Supplies consist of cases of Water, and MRE’s which are like rations precooked meals, toilet paper, clean up kits; including rakes and shovels, hygiene kits, and ice. All of the places we deliver to are places with no power or running water.”
Canafax said that some of those living in small towns thought they were forgotten about, when they received supplies, those people are very grateful. The group will be returning home on September 26, 2017.
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