Floridians with personal connections to Sandy's devastation

S. Florida Red Cross teams have headed north

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Help from local chapters of the American Red Cross is already in the northeast.  Some of those people helping have a very personal connection to the devastation left behind by Sandy's fury.

The Red Cross moved in quickly, setting up emergency shelters across the region.  Among the many south Florida volunteers is Steve Bayer of Boynton Beach.  "It's very, very close to my heart," said Bayer via Skype from Garden City, New York, where he and his team are helping to provide shelter for scores of residents.  

Bayer has been sent to 39 disasters in his 15 years with the Red Cross. Responding to Sandy in Long Island is different because for Bayer that used to be his home. 

"It's a very personal thing for me being here back on Long Island," he said.  Bayer has also taken time to check on his own neighbors, his children and three grandchildren who found themselves in the path of the storm. 

"My son and daughter in law half six inches of water in their home but they are coping with this by knowing that two homes behind them burned to the ground last night," he said.  "I feel like I'm helping them as well as my kids."

As media outlets in south Florida continue to show the devastation in the northeast, more help from this area is getting ready to go. 

"We have about fifteen volunteers from our local region in the zone right now," said Rob Levine, CEO of the Palm Beaches-Treasure Coast Region of the American Red Cross. "We expect dozens more to be on their way."     

For information on how you can help, click here .

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