Disaster Relief Across the Country
Just two weeks after getting married on June 23, 2012 at the Lake of the Ozarks, a Red Cross volunteer from the Midland Empire is shipping out to West Virginia. Kim Myers is leaving her life as a newlywed to help people caught in a crisis situation.
Kim Myers wears a pretty big smile after recently tying the knot; but she's leaving her husband behind to help those in need.
"The people that are without power, that are suffering from heat I imagine. People that have chronic illnesses that we need to deal with," Myers said.
Severe storms on the east coast left millions of homes and businesses without power, so Myers is saying goodbye to marital bliss and heading to Parkersburg, West Virginia to serve with the Red Cross Disaster Relief.
"My husband is very supportive, he's concerned for me, but he's very supportive," Myers said.
This is her first crisis mission and even though she's anxious, she says this is what she was born to do.
"I nurture, I care, I'm a nurse. It's part of my identity," she said.
She'll spend the next few weeks working in a shelter, assessing health needs and treating as many people as she can.
Within the last year, Myers has gone through hours of training, but she didn't prepare for the emotional roller coaster.
"The adrenaline has kicked in. I'm nervous, I'm anxious but I'm excited to get in there and do what I've been trained to do," Myers said.
"It's very nerve-racking. I tell people it's kind of like a covert mission. She literally leaves here with a phone number and when she lands, she picks up a phone and calls that number and they tell her what to do next." Karla Long, Midland Empire Red Cross Director of Emergency Services said.
Myers is one of seven volunteers from the Midland Empire who have accepted deployments within the last week.
"It's great for our volunteers to go out and get all that training so when something does happen here, they have much more experience to be able to respond locally and help our community," Long said.
For Myers, the honeymoon will continue when she gets back.
"This will just make him miss me that much more," she said.
One Midland Empire volunteer left Thursday morning for Missoula, Montana.