Red Cross volunteer ready to help volcano victims in Hawaii

Tony Perez will arrive on Hawaii's Big Island on Friday

By David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor, Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A local Red Cross volunteer is headed to the Big Island in Hawaii to help people affected by the recent volcanic eruptions.

Tony Perez is a nurse and said his assignment has yet to be determined when he arrives Friday in Hawaii.

"We do not know how were going to be utilized. We could be utilized for shelter operations where we actually do hands-on nursing, or we can be used in case work among the people that have suffered loses related to health care," Perez said.

Perez said he's paid close attention to news reports of volcanic activity over the last three weeks. The volcano alert level has been raised to red, meaning a major eruption is underway or imminent. There are reports of huge plumes of ash rising up to 12,000 feet into the air and lava from Kilauea erupting from fresh cracks on the ground.

Perez will be in Hawaii for two weeks and said he will work  a 12-hour shift, six days a week.

"Seeing those that have gone through so many losses, and you're able to do something to help through that loss, it makes you feel like you serve a purpose," Perez said.

The American Red Cross is on the ground, providing shelter and comfort to those impacted by the Kilauea lava threat. 

About 80 trained Red Cross disaster workers are operating shelters, and distributing relief items such as blankets, sheets, pillows, futons, towels, masks, comfort kits and almost 6,000 snacks. 

Red Cross health and mental health volunteers are in shelters providing services to more than 560 people. 

The Red Cross is also working with the Salvation Army to provide meals.

If you would like to help the Red Cross with donations for volcano victims, click here.

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