Missouri volunteers helping on East Coast

Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

by Lauren Bale

Missouri Task Force One, Ameren Electric and the American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis currently have about 500 volunteers stationed along the East Coast providing aid and comfort in response to the deadly hurricane.

Task Force spokesman Gale Blomenkamp said the team has a great deal of experience when it comes to helping during a disaster.

“The very first deployment of this team was on Sept. 11, 2001, to the World Trade Center. And so from that point forward we have been obviously a federally funded team by FEMA and have been deployed multiple times across the country,” Blomenkamp said.

The team was formed in 1996 after the Oklahoma City bombings. The team’s last out-of-state deployment was to aid the victims of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Blomenkamp said the team was prepared to conduct water searches and rescues.

Hurricane Sandy left as many as 68 dead in the U.S. and the monetary amount of damage is estimated to be in the billions. Thousands of people continue to be without power in the affected areas.

Editor’s note: As of Friday afternoon, Sac Osage Electric and the City of El Dorado Springs said they had received no requests to send help to the East Coast