Rotary President Prakash Pisipati introduced Vice President John Cuccia who introduced the Feb. 4 meeting's speaker, Jim Brida of the American Red Cross. Red Cross volunteers are often among the first to arrive at fires, hurricanes or other disasters. Victims of a fire may have no clothes, money or shelter. The Red Cross addresses these immediate needs until the person can get some relief.

Long Island would be particularly vulnerable to a big hurricane and the Red Cross has contingency plans if one hits. Mr. Brida urged Long Islanders to know where their closest shelter is located. After Galveston, TX got hit by a hurricane, the Red Cross fed 3,000 people regularly.

The group also helps the military to retrieve soldiers' bodies on the battlefield as well as to soften the pain of troop deployments. Only 2 percent of Red Cross personnel are paid. If you wish to learn about volunteering for the Red Cross you may visit their Nassau Chapter at 195 Willis Ave. in Mineola.

The web site is www.NassauRedCross.org. The phone is 747-3500. Dr. Eric Chimon responded for the Rotary. He thanked the speaker for providing valuable information about it.

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