Several Pittsburgh area Red Cross volunteers are in the Gulf Coast preparing to help residents there in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac.
More than a dozen people from western Pennsylvania, including a long-time resident, are just a few of the estimated 1,000 Red Cross volunteers who are in the area to help prepare shelters and assist anyone in need.
Heidelberg resident Rose Marie Malizio flew down to Tampa, FL, late last week to help with Red Cross preparations while the storm churned toward the Gulf of Mexico. Now that Florida was spared most of the damage from Hurricane Isaac, Malizio and other local volunteers are expected to head west to help other Gulf Coast states.
Some of the other local volunteers include Joseph Korinchak of Gibsonia, Jeanette Patsakis of Mt. Lebanon, Ken Brown of Jefferson Hills and Denae McCall of Shaler.
“They’re able to help out in areas in our region, but also able to deploy and help in these larger national disasters, as well,” Pittsburgh Red Cross spokeswoman Lauren Chapman said.
Malizio was also deployed to Ohio in July when strong storms knocked out power to that many areas in that state for days. Heidelberg Borough Manager Joe Kauer said the town is proud of her leadership and willingness to help others far away from home.
Last year, the borough and many of its residents .
“It made us feel so good that was Rose able to represent the borough and help out,” Kauer said. “She took that training and really ran with it.”
Kauer said Malizio is retired and has used her time to help within the community and take . He spoke to her last week while she was preparing to head to Florida and wished her luck on the mission.
“Our thoughts are with Rose and the rest of the team down there,” Kauer said. “We couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Some of the other local volunteers are already stationed in Alabama and Mississippi with trailers or other equipment. The Red Cross plans to send Malizio and other volunteers to locations closer to New Orleans after Isaac makes landfall.
“Once the storm blows through, they will be deployed wherever they are needed,” Chapman said.