The Michigan Red Cross sent eight volunteers to Saipan after a typhoon ripped through the Northern Mariana Island earlier this month. The storm hit the remote island with winds exceeding 90 miles per hour, damaging more than 1100 homes, and killing more than 21 people.
Regional Disaster Officer of the Michigan Region Ian Dyar says the volunteers are running nine emergency shelters on the island.
“They are working in tandem with the Saipan government and Saipan volunteers to ensure that people have a place to stay,” Dyar says. “Because it is so new, the damage assessment is still going on, and [volunteers are making sure] that everybody is getting at least three meals a day.”
Dyar says the volunteers are trained in Michigan, but have experience working in a multitude of disaster areas. He says the volunteers are expected to return by early September.
For more information on donating to Red Cross call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit redcross.org.