Cedar Rapids Weather
Marion Woman Headed to Florida to Aid if Hurricane Isaac Plows Through
By Addison Speck, Reporter
MARION, Iowa - Volunteers from across the country are heading to the Gulf Coast in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac. Nine Iowans with the American Red Cross will leave Friday for Tampa, Florida. One of them, is Linda Sutherland of Marion.
On Thursday night, Sutherland packed multiple bags without knowing if she will be in Florida for a few days or a few weeks. "We stay until everybody has a place to go, has a safe place to be, and food to eat," said Sutherland. She compared the process to the Amazing Race. "We leave home, not sure where we will end up. All we know is that we will be in a safe Red Cross environment," she said.
As a Red Cross Volunteer, Sutherland went online and notified the non-profit she was available to go. She got the green light on Thursday morning, giving her 24 hours to pack her belongings and be on a plane to Tampa. "I have to admit, I've never been in a hurricane so I am a little bit nervous about that part," she said.
The trip to Florida will be Sutherland's 7th trip with the Red Cross. But for many years, Sutherland just witnessed disaster through the TV. "When 9/11 hit, I sat on the couch for a month and cried. I thought I am not a police man, I am not a fireman, I am not a nurse. I wondered how I could possibly be of value and I thought the same thing when Katrina happened," said Sutherland.
It wasn't until disaster struck at home, she realized she had plenty to give. "A lot of people came for our floods in 2008 and we got a lot of community service and help. This is the way I try to repay that," said Sutherland. She said the people she gets to meet and work with are always so appreciative of the help. She told TV9 that as long as she can continue to help them, she will keep packing her bags.
The Red Cross has a Hurricane app for smart phones. It allows people to track the storm in real time as well as find shelter locations and updates on loved ones. You can find more information about the application here.
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