Director of technology heads to Texas to help with hurricane relief

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For over 17 years, College of Liberal Arts Director of Technology Peter Angelos has been volunteering for the Red Cross. On the night of Aug. 31, Angelos made sure everything was running smoothly on campus. The morning of Sept. 1, Angelos took a red eye to Austin, Texas. He is currently stationed main headquarters for the Red Cross in Texas to help with disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey.

“The Red Cross is immediate and short term help right after a disaster,” Angelos said. “We provide food, shelter and clothing until the bigger disaster relief agencies come.”

With permission from the dean, Angelos is sent out on 3 week missions for disaster relief. The University gets compensated for the time he spends helping those in need. His specific assignment as a volunteer is to help with other technology experts in the disaster services technology department with IT support.

“My main job is to make sure other locations have the technology they need to succeed in sheltering thousands,” Angelos said.

Angelos never knows what to expect when heading to a disaster.

“I wasn’t expecting flooding where I was headed, but you never really know until you get there,” Angelos said.

When traveling to disasters, he packs a 35 pound backpack, equipped with everything he might need including a bed roll and extra clothing.

Angelos also helped with disaster relief during the floods of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005.

“It’s heartwarming to see the positive impact that bringing food to somebody in need has,” Angelos said. “You can see their faces light up.”

Angelos is currently waiting to hear whether he will be needed in the relief efforts of Hurricane Irma, which was recently downgraded to a tropical storm. The Red Cross usually gathers volunteers closer to where the disaster occurs before reaching out to other chapters.

“Volunteers come from the local Austin chapter, but also from as far away as Alaska,” Angelos said.

The Red Cross helps by sharing over 200,000 meals almost every day to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Angelos encourages those who want to help with future hurricane damage or for local disaster relief to contact the northland chapter through their website.

“The Red Cross is totally independent with no religious affiliations and is funded through donations,” Angelos said. “Just volunteer once to see people help. There is no other organization like it that can shelter thousands of people so quickly after a disaster.”

NewsSamantha Church