An American Red Cross volunteer from Kennewick is helping those impacted by the wildfires in Maui.

Barbara Stanley, a registered nurse and disaster health nurse for the Red Cross, is no stranger to disaster relief efforts across the country.

"Recently, I was in Kentucky at the floods, Eastern Kentucky. I was in New Jersey at one point with hurricane flooding. I've been in fires here locally, fires in Oregon, fires in New Mexico. I was out in Tacoma for a few days where there was a large department fire where everybody had to be evacuated." Stanley said.

Now she's answering the call to join many other volunteers in treating people's health issues during this very difficult time. Stanley specializes in both staff health and client health.

"So, what disaster help does is facilitate with trying to get the supplies they need to get back on track." Stanley said. "If the volunteers become sick, we do whatever necessary for them."

Stanley left Tri-Cities airport mid-day today (8/11). She is scheduled to arrive in Oahu tonight for further instructions.

"You just go, and they give you an assignment when you get there. I'm going to Honolulu and I check in there." Stanley said.

Stanley will proceed to the island of Maui where she already has a good idea of what she'll be doing to help.

"We talk to pharmacies, we talk to physicians, whatever it takes to get people what they need. We have a certain amount of funds that we can use to buy them things." Stanley said. "Sometimes, we set up doctor's appointments. If it's staff health, we might end up taking them to the doctor. If it's a COVID issue, we set up isolations. If it's staff COVID, they're usually put up in a hotel. And we sometimes will deliver meals."

And with the rising death toll, Stanely says groups comprised of mental, spiritual and nurse practices help families who've lost loved ones.

"We get them through the steps it takes and generally there are funds that we can give them for help with funeral and that sort of thing, whatever they need. So that's a separate piece of disaster health nursing." Stanley added.

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