Santa Cruz County

Local volunteers deploy to Napa for earthquake disaster relief

Local Red Cross crews head to Napa

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Napa community is still shaken following Sunday's 6.0 earthquake.  Now help is on the way from some of our local American Red Cross chapters.  On Monday night we're finding out what our central coast volunteers plan to do for those in need. 

The city of Napa lists one shelter open for residents right now, but one Red Cross volunteer we spoke with said he expects more to be available by Tuesday.

"They have absolutely nothing and don't know where to go or what to do," said volunteer Leonard Davis.

David said he's put on his American Red Cross hat, lanyard and vest many times.  But it never gets any easier.

"I was up in Washington earlier this year with the mudslides up there," Davis said.

So far 70 buildings in Napa have been red-tagged by inspectors, deemed too damaged to allow people inside-leaving any who lives in them homeless.  That's where Davis said he and about 19 other volunteers from the Central Coast and Bay Area can help.

"Opening shelters and closing shelters, finding a place for people to go," Davis said.

People are able to go in about 200 homes and businesses with yellow-tags to gather a few belonging.  That number is expected to rise.  Davis said he's headed to the Santa Rosa headquarters Tuesday morning and will deploy to Napa later in the day.  He said the Red Cross also plays a role in assessing the damage, helping local inspectors determine what buildings are too dangerous for people to be inside.  But his main focus is to make sure those in need have enough energy to pick up the pieces and move forward.

"The Red Cross as a whole out primary mission in something like this is to feed and to shelter people," Davis said.

The Red Cross said the best way to help during disaster relief is by donating to your organization of choice.  Volunteers said most of the time donations of clothing or supplies becomes overwhelming because there's usually nowhere to put it all.

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