Local volunteers to help with Hurricane Sandy relief

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Two local Utah Red Cross volunteers have been activated to go east and help with Hurricane Sandy relief, and more help from the Beehive State could be on the way.

The volunteers are both from Utah County, and one is an octogenarian, said Red Cross spokesman Teresa Zundel.

"He's kissed his great-grand kids goodbye and packed his bags and he's ready to go help people recover," she said. The hurricane, however, has grounded many flights, and neither volunteer has made it east yet, she said.

At least one of the volunteers is expected to head for New York, but exact assignments could change as it becomes clear where the worst damage will be felt.

Utah has more than 100 volunteers qualified to respond to national-level disasters, and likely more will be called to serve in the coming days, she said.

Also prepped to give aid is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose welfare humanitarian department is watching the situation and working with authorities to decide where might be best to send help.

"Right now, we're just in a holding pattern," said LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter.

The storm is expected to make landfall early Monday evening in New Jersey.

Zundel encouraged people to consider donating time, money or blood, pointing out that blood drives across the enormous affected area have been canceled due to the storm. People outside the affected area can communicate with their families using the Red Cross hurricane app, which allows people to search storm warnings by zip code, find the locations of Red Cross shelters and send an "I'm OK" message to friends and family.


Twitter: @lwhitehurst