WNYT.com

Red Cross opens Albany command center as it prepares for Sandy

Posted at: 10/28/2012 11:16 PM
Updated at: 10/29/2012 8:22 AM
By: Dan Bazile

ALBANY - Red Cross headquarters on Everett Road in Albany was booming with activity early Sunday morning. Volunteers came from across the country working hard to make sure they are ready for whatever hurricane sandy brings.

Volunteer Janet Bremner tells us, “We're here anticipating the worst and hoping for the best. I hope we all get sent home in about five days.”

For now, they're monitoring Sandy and concentrating on 17 New York counties, including Schoharie, one of the hardest hit areas 14 months ago where tropical storms Irene and Lee wreaked havoc.

Michael Raphael, a response manager for Red Cross, explains, “What we're seeing is people, right after Irene, had a hard time sleeping, anticipating the river is going to come again.”

Raphael says that's why the organization is setting up a team specifically tailored to deal with anxiety issues.

He says with the threat of another storm, some residents in that part of the state may be having a tough time coping.

According to Raphael, “Not everybody is going to react that way. but a lot of people who saw their houses basically drifting away, saw people getting hurt, are already experiencing some anxiety.”

Raphael says the best thing they can do is try to relax and prepare as much as possible for what may come their way.

This as the Red Cross goes through its own lists of preparations.

Tim Bachman of the Red Cross tells us, “We're making plans to make sure that we have shelters in place working with county governments to make sure we can provide services before and after the storm.”