(From the American Red Cross of North Central Ohio)
Todd James, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of North Central Ohio in Findlay is joining the ongoing Red Cross disaster relief operation in Hawaii.
Dangerous wildfires are burning on the Big Island and Maui in Hawaii, forcing thousands of people to evacuate, some even jumping into the ocean to escape the smoke and flames. The American Red Cross of Hawaii is there, providing shelter and comfort to those affected by the massive fires.
The fires are being fueled by strong winds from Hurricane Dora which is still hundreds of miles away. Buildings have been damaged, roads closed, thousands are without power, and phone and cell service are down, making communications extremely difficult. Much of the historic town of Lahaina is destroyed. Conditions are hampering some evacuations and hospitals are treating burn and smoke inhalation patients.
Red Cross disaster workers responded immediately, opening shelters on both islands where several hundred people sought refuge from the fires Wednesday night. The Red Cross is working with local, state and federal officials and more help is on the way.
James will be serving as an Advanced Public Affairs Team member, serving as a spokesperson for the Red Cross and communicating vital information on services available to families and communities. This is James’ 40th disaster relief operation deployment.