Red Cross nurse and Salisbury native deployed to coast
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Kendall Hankins, a Durham nurse who grew up in Salisbury, is volunteering with the American Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Irene.
“I started this year, and this is my first time being deployed,” Hankins said. “I went into the local chapter because they needed volunteers… they needed nurses for their disaster teams.”
She said her team is mainly helping to staff emergency shelters, making sure displaced people have access to prescription medications and other health-related needs. They are set up in Kinston now after working in the towns of Columbia and Jackson.
“The main problems I saw in Jackson were power outages and some wind damage,” Hankins said. “A lot of people coming in to the shelter needed electricity because they had medical problems and needed (equipment).”
She said there were about 100 people in that shelter the day the hurricane hit.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that as power is restored, eastern North Carolina outages have fallen to 34,000 from a peak of around 600,000 after the storm hit last weekend.
Many people who were evacuated from their homes are starting to leave the shelters, Hankins said. Some are moving back home and repairing storm damage, while others are living with friends or family until they figure out what to do next.
Hankins, who graduated from UNC Chapel Hill just a few years ago, plans on continuing to serve with the Red Cross.
“When I was in Salisbury, I worked with First Presbyterian Church… we did a lot of mission work with that church,” Hankins said. “I was raised to help people, and now that I have these skills, I want to use them.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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