Wisconsin Red Cross sends top disaster official to the U.S. Virgin Islands

Wisconsin Red Cross sends top disaster official to the U.S. Virgin Islands
Copyright 2017 CNN

The Wisconsin Red Cross is sending its top disaster official to assist with relief efforts in the Caribbean after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit.

Marytha Blanchard will spend three weeks in the U.S. Virgin Islands distributing emergency supplies, reuniting families and providing hurricane victims with food and shelter.

Blanchard said staying in St. Thomas will present challenges, given phone signals are spotty and clean water is still an issue.

The disaster official said that in her many years of helping with relief efforts, she has never been told to pack mosquito nets and chlorine tablets.

Despite the 12-hour shifts and uncertainly of where she will stay, Blanchard said she is looking forward to helping those in need.

“This is really why I joined the Red Cross and what I’ve been trained for, so I’m really happy to go over and help and do what I can to make things as comfortable as possible, making sure people are getting what they need,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard will be joining roughly 730 other Red Cross disaster workers who are currently in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico assisting with relief efforts.

She will return to Madison on Nov. 17.