Hurricane Irene- First Hand experiences from National Youth Council Member, Eli Russ

It was a normal Wednesday night as Eli Russ was getting ready for bed. As routine, he checked the weather forecast for the next few days and noticed that there was a possibility of Hurricane Irene hitting New York City. As a result, he informed his 40 fellow Red Cross club members at Mamaroneck High School in Westchester County, NY.


By Thursday, the local government, the Red Cross, and other agencies were preparing for Hurricane Irene. Mamaroneck High School was a Red Cross shelter location for those evacuated in Mamaroneck. The Mamaroneck High School Red Cross Club, lead by their President, Eli was very important in the shelter process. As an experienced disaster responder, Eli knew what to expect, but he knew that his club members didn’t. So, Eli met with the club to give them a tour of the shelter and to tell them what to expect. The club helped set up the shelter, set up cots, worked registration and escorting people around the shelter. In addition, the club helped organize a children’s area with games and coloring books. One of the shelter managers said “They would not have been able to do it without the club’s help”. The Mamaroneck helped shelter over 300 people. Eli said “It was gratifying and humbling to help those in my local community”.


On behalf of the National Youth Council, we want to thank all the volunteers who helped with Hurricane Irene and special thanks to the Mamaroneck High School Red Cross Club.


If you have any questions for Eli, feel free to contact him at

Eli Russ at a shelter drill representing the Red Cross and CERT.


The Mamaroneck High School Shelter

~Hanna Malak


[EDITORS NOTE: In June 2011, Eli Russ became a member of the American Red Cross National Youth Council. Read more about him here.]

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