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Southern Nevada Red Cross volunteers deploy to California for a week

Updated March 13, 2023 - 8:16 pm

Five volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada are in California’s Central Valley this week helping residents deal with the effects of extreme flooding.

The quintet — four from Las Vegas and one from Pahrump — packed their bags Friday and headed to Delano, a small town located about 30 miles northwest of Bakersfield.

“They’ll be helping with the shelter … helping with intakes, serving meals, making sure everyone is comfortable and has everything they need,” said Keith Paul, regional communications director for American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region. “A lot of time, people will have to evacuate… (and need a) safe place to sleep, food to eat, medical assistance. We also help provide them with emotional assistance if they need it.”

Emma Empey, a Las Vegas resident and one of the five-member Red Cross strike team, said the team has hunkered down in Delano, where the Red Cross has converted a community center into a shelter for displaced residents.

“The water’s just gone into the homes … closed off some of the freeways,” she said Sunday night. “Emergency services are trying to divert water into the fruit fields.”

Empey, a Red Cross volunteer for six years, said she was motivated to help the displaced Californians because “I love to do humanitarian work and service, and I like to respond to the disasters where there’s a great need.”

Paul applauded the volunteers for their service and encouraged others to consider volunteering with the Red Cross.

“We are proud of our volunteers who left their homes at a moment’s notice to travel to help people that they’ve never met,” he said.

Those interested in volunteering with the nonprofit can sign up here.

Contact Justin Razavi at jrazavi@reviewjournal.com. Follow @justin_razavi on Twitter.

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