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Hurricane Sandy volunteers return
Victorville resident worked in public affairs office
VICTORVILLE • As Georgia Duncan arrived in New York, just a couple weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged a portion of the East Coast, the devastation before her eyes was astounding.
Duncan witnessed over one ton of rubbish piled high on the beaches, remnants of victims belongings and memories such as children’s teddy bears in trash cans that were ruined during the storm that impacted an area the size of Europe.
“The first thing I thought was oh my gosh, these people have lost everything,” said Duncan, regarding her visit with the American Red Cross. “I tried to put myself in the place of the victims.”
Duncan, who has worked with the Red Cross’ High Desert office for about five years, helped with disaster relief efforts along with two other local volunteers in November.
David Nichols from Barstow and Elizabeth Haro from Adelanto also worked at the Red Cross headquarters in New York.
Duncan worked in the public affairs office as a media liaison for the volunteers and victims.
In her five years of service, Duncan has responded to several local disasters such as house fires and snowstorms, but this was her first deployment in a national relief effort.
“I didn’t know what I would be doing to help, so I went with an open mind. Whatever had to be done, I was willing to help,” Duncan said. “The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. You don’t have to go to New York, you can volunteer and work locally.”
As the nation’s premier humanitarian organization, the Red Cross was prepared in its efforts to aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy that hit on Oct. 29. The call for volunteers was sent out nationally and the High Desert Chapter was one of many that responded.
According to the Red Cross website, 90 percent of the workers who initially responded to aid the East Coast consisted of volunteers.
Today, there are approximately 1,000 workers still assisting survivors and providing longterm recovery efforts.
Volunteer information can be found online at www.redcross.org. or by calling the local chapter at (760) 245-6511.
Kelli McGurk is a Daily Press intern. Staff Writer Rene De La Cruz contributed to this story.
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