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Napa County Red Cross Helps Hurricane Sandy Victims

Frances Houser, board chair of the Napa County Red Cross, is assisting Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in New Jersey. Here's how we can help out at home in the Napa Valley.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the havoc it wrought across the eastern seaboard, Napans are stepping up to assist in the disaster recovery. 

One such local is Frances Houser, board chair of the Napa County Red Cross. On October 27 she traveled to the Cumberland Community College in Vineland, N.J. where she weathered the storm along with those who were evacuated.

Later when the storm calmed, Houser moved on to a vocational school in Bridgeton, N.J. to work in an emergency shelter where people are fed, temporarily housed and provided with basic medical care.

"This response to Sandy is just getting started. The storm has left devastation in its wake and we will be helping people for weeks to come," said Anne Steinhauer, executive director of the Napa County Red Cross, in a statement.

"This will be very costly and the Red Cross needs help now. We ask everyone to support us as we help people recover from this massive storm." 

Steinhauer says that more Napa volunteers may be deployed depending on the needs on the ground and the background of the volunteers in question. 

For those wishing to contribute, donating blood ranks near top of the list of importance.

"We lost over 300 blood drives on the east coast due to the storm," said Steinhauer. The storm has also resulted in the loss of as many as 11,000 blood products.  

And of course, financial donations are imperative as the response to Hurricane Sandy's devastation will be very large and expensive.

Financial donations are preferable and more useful than direct donations of goods, as the Red Cross prefers to buy items on site due to specific needs as well as storage and transportation issues, Steinhauer said. 

For more information on how locals can help, as well as information on how to donate, visit the Napa chapter Web site at napacountyredcross.org or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/napacountyredcross.

For more about the storm and its aftermath, reported by Patch writers and photographers in East Coast communities, please see Sandy's Destruction: Patch Had it Covered.

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