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North Coast volunteers helping superstorm Sandy victims

VVolunteer Harold Minkin of Cloverdale drove to the East Coast in a Red Cross emergency response vehicle and now is on Staten Island, N.Y., helping feed thousands of suffering residents and volunteers who help them.

"It's like a taco truck, it holds hot food. The window opens up . . . we hand out the food," said Minkin, a retired senior executive with Oracle. "Two runs a day . . . We clean up, start all over again."

Another American Red Cross volunteer, Fran Condon of Santa Rosa, is in downtown Manhattan. She's sending volunteers to emergency shelters throughout Manhattan and the Bronx and connecting residents with services.

Sandy's Destruction

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"It's unbelievable the amount of need. It just blows us all away," said Condon, a retired AT&T employee.

Joe Dwyer of Santa Rosa returned home Saturday after two weeks helping in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Dwyer, a supervising ambulance paramedic with AMR and 26-year employee, is a member of AMR's national disaster response team under the umbrella of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

With medical needs everywhere, Dwyer coordinated with other emergency officials to keep ambulances headed where they were needed most.

"The biggest thing that stands in my mind is some of the devastation and the resolve of the people in these devastated areas," he said. "How they help themselves and give a helping hand."

The enormity of the devastation also hammered home lessons for back home, Dwyer said.

"It's an eye-opener. We really need to be prepared and more disaster-minded," he said. "Make sure you're prepared for the first 72 hours to be without food, power and water."


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