Cedar Rapids woman to help with Tropical Storm Isaac recovery - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids woman to help with Tropical Storm Isaac recovery


Before the airports Tropical Storm Isaac's path close, the Red Cross is sending out as many volunteers as possible.  So far more than 900 people have headed south, including 29 Iowans. Those numbers are constantly increasing.

The American Red Cross has also increased its volunteer training since Hurricane Katrina. Before someone gets deployed to a disaster sight, they should have experience helping the Red Cross locally. For volunteers from eastern Iowa, it was the flood of 2008 that provided that experience.

Nancy Kintner has been active in the Red Cross since 2008.  She was inspired by the way volunteers helped her Cedar Rapids home recover from the flood, and decided to help other cities after their disasters.

"They were on the ground, boots on the ground, and you know working with the clients and people affected by the disaster one-on-one and I just had a heart for it," said Kintner.

She's on her way to Mobile, Alabama to help with Isaac recovery.  The Red Cross has been deploying people from across the country for two days in preparation for Isaac.

"Even though you never know what's going to happen during a hurricane situation, we're feeling that we're very well positioned right now," said Stephen Barnett, Executive Director of the Grant Wood Area Chapter of the Red Cross.

Wednesday will mark the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting Louisiana.  Now the state is in Isaac's path, but the Red Cross says this time they're better prepared.

"I think we've done a real analysis of where we need to be, our strengths and weaknesses, and made appropriate adjustments," said Barnett.

Now they have storage warehouses that are more easily accessible and more, and better trained, volunteers like Kintner, who's been deployed for the Red Cross several times.

"It's hard to anticipate what you're going to see," said Kintner.  "Every single storm is different. Every hurricane is different and this one hasn't hit yet.

The Red Cross has also added hurricane and First Aid smart phone apps to help people during disasters.

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