Staff Writer

Although Hurricane Katrina is more than 800 miles southeast from Enid, chaos erupting from the monster storm can be felt here.

The Cimarron Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is accepting volunteers who will undergo a five-to-seven day training course before being deployed to areas in the Gulf states region that have gotten whacked by Katrina.

Director Robin Unruh said volunteers fill out forms, get a medical release from their doctors and watch an introductory video on Red Cross volunteer assistance.

People choose what area they wish to work whether that be in the shelters or doing damage assessment, Unruh said.

The agency also is accepting financial donations to help storm victims purchase whatever nec-essities they need.

Cimarron Valley Chapter office is located at 1023 E. Elm. The telephone number is 237-5994.

According to a news release from the American Red Cross, financial contributions are requested in lieu of actual items such as canned goods or blankets since it allows victims to purchase items from local merchants, puts money back into the local economy and enables disaster victims to select and pay for what they need most.

?Selecting a favorite color or ensuring proper fit when purchasing new clothes might seen minor to the rest of us, but it represents the first small step toward psychological recovery for a disaster victim,? the news release said.

Unruh said she participates in a morning conference call regarding all Red Cross agencies and will be passing along more developing news regarding shelters, damage and victims.

?We (the Red Cross) are not in charge of the Superdome,? Unruh said about people who may have queries about the storm victims who took shelter in the Louisiana Superdome, located in New Orleans.

Karen Berkenbile of Enid Travel Consultants said travel agencies received word Monday all commercial flight operations at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport would remain canceled today.

The travel agency did not have to send word Monday about cruise ship cancellations from New Orleans although Berkenbile said she has several bookings coming up within the next few days.


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