Red Cross volunteers are ready to go - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Red Cross volunteers are ready to go

September 15, 2003

Albany- Bill Hamby has a stack of pages that show the names of places he has been. But he's usually not there on vacation.

Hamby's a disaster relief worker with the American Red Cross.

"I started in 1989 with Hugo which was a massive storm on the east coast," he said.

Since then, he's worked 66 disasters that have taken him to 25 states. His 67th trip could happen any time with Hurricane Isabel working her way toward the east Coast. He'll be ready when the call comes.

"I could leave like in 90 minutes."

After years of disaster relief experience, he knows what to expect when he gets there.

"You look around if you're a survivor and the home you knew for years might be splintered into kindling wood or it might be across the street."

Like most American Red Cross volunteers, Hamby spends at least 21 days on a site, but he often stays longer. Disaster work in an aftermath like the one left behind by Hurricane Andrew is hard, but it's work that leaves him satisfied.

"Number one, I don't play golf," he said. "I don't fish. So I have the time to do it."

So if Isabel follows the path of strong hurricanes before her, leaving behind devastation and destruction, like the American Red Cross, Hamby will be there.

posted at 11:00 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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