Red Cross of LA sending help to South Carolina

- The American Red Cross of Los Angeles will send five emergency response trucks and 10 volunteers to areas hit hard by Hurricane Matthew in South Carolina.

About 10 volunteers in five emergency vehicles will leave Westwood on Monday morning for the 15-day deployment, Red Cross of Los Angeles spokeswoman Maria F. Melo Bueno said.

Headed into an area that has been stricken with power outages and record- breaking flooding, the Red Cross volunteers will be bringing drinking water, ready-to-eat meals, cleaning supplies, comfort kits, insect repellant, shovels, rakes and more.

The Red Cross has been criticized in Congress and elsewhere for tepid responses to flooding in Louisiana and during other hurricanes. This will be the first time that emergency vehicles from Red Cross chapters in the 48
continental states will all be sent to respond to a single emergency.

The Red Cross will work in collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate the response effort and ensure as many people receive the help they need as quickly as possible, Melo Beuno said.

Meanwhile, the organization is asking for support from Southern California residents, she said. Monetary donations support the Red Cross, which accepts donations at RedCross.org or 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Red Cross officials also noted that blood and platelet donations are especially needed at this time since Hurricane Matthew has forced the cancellation of blood drives in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. To donate blood or platelets, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.

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