Along with six other Red Cross shelters throughout the state, Milford Middle School opened its doors at noon on Sunday, October 29 in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. Organizations including the American Red Cross, Delaware Department of Pubic Health, Americorps National and Community Service, Kent County SPCA and Delaware Animal Care and Control and members of the Milford School District cafeteria and custodial staff partnered together to provide for approximately 110 individuals as of Monday afternoon, October 29.
Charlotte Duffy and her husband Rich are the coordinators of the American Red Cross shelter at the Middle School in Milford and have been facilitating all of the necessary operations since it opened on Sunday at noon. Both former educators for 33 years, Charlotte and Rich decided to volunteer for the American Red Cross after they were helped by the orginization years ago with disaster relief.
“We have seen a mixture of elderly individuals and families taking advantage of the shelter,” commented Charlette Duffy. “We have provided food, activities for kids and offer a pet-friendly facility. We have been so blessed by this organization in the past and it is a great to able to give back.”
Loretta Lankford, her four children and their two puppies took advantage of the Milford Middle School shelter. They decided to leave their home in Woodside, between Canterberry Road adnd Camden, when they started to review the possibilty of their home being in danger from Hurrican Sandy.
“We weren’t going to leave but as we looked at an aeiral view of our property we saw that we are surronded by water and trees, add that to living in a trailer and we knew it was time to leave,” commented Loretta. “ Delaware Americorps and the SPCA have been wonderful.”
The Lankford family prepared for the storm by placing wood and toys in their shed and moving their vehicle to an elevated area on their property. They also gathered portable entertainment including DVD players and video games to keep their kids occupied at the shelter. They hope that their preperation served them well, when they are allowed to return home later this week.
“We just want to go home and check out our house,” commented Loretta. “hopefully we have one to go home to.”
The shelters across the state will be open throughout the storm providing assistance for area individuals in need of a place to stay during the storm. Individuals will be allowed to leave the shelters after the State of Emergency for Delaware is lifeted by Governor Markell.