Bay Area Red Cross volunteers assisting with Hurricane Michael relief

ByCarlos Saucedo KGO logo
Friday, October 12, 2018
Bay Area volunteers assisting with Hurricane Michael relief
As emergency personnel assess the destruction on the ground from Hurricane Michael, local response and relief teams in the Bay Area are mobilizing.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Catastrophic images coming out of the Gulf Coast capture the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Michael.

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Dramatic drone footage over Panama City, Florida shows what's left from a high school caught in the hurricane's path.

"I've seen stuff like this before, that doesn't mean it ever makes it any easier," said Jodi Wallace of San Jose. The American Red Cross volunteer just returned from responding to one hurricane but she won't be catching much of a break. Wallace departs to Tallahassee Friday morning.

"We're very stretched thin right now," said Wallace. "There are still a lot of people with the Red Cross who are working in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence."

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Wallace will be assisting shelter support teams once she gets to Florida. The Red Cross chapter of Northern California has already sent 10 volunteers to the Gulf and more could follow.

"It depends on the needs and the skill sets and our availability. We could see dozens more volunteers going out in the next week," said Cynthia Shaw, with the Red Cross of Northern California.

In Oakland, Task Force 4 is prepared to send out a team to assist with search and rescue efforts.

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"As you can imagine, urban search and rescue task force respond to more than just hurricanes, so all of our team members are trained and prepared to go to any sort of disaster," said Battalion Chief Robert Lipp, program coordinator for the task force.

Sixteen people who are part of a water mission team are currently on standby.

Two members have already been deployed to help overhead teams on the ground.

With equipment ready to go, the Oakland rescue crews are just waiting to get the call to head out and potentially save lives.

To help the victims of the hurricane, you can visit to make a donation.

For the latest stories and video on Hurricane Michael go to this page.