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      Local Red Cross, Ameren crews ready for Sandy assistance

      Emergency responders from the Quincy-based chapter of the American Red Cross are headed to the East Coast to assist in Hurricane Sandy efforts.

      ??Two of our local volunteers left this morning for New York,?? Pam Shaffer, executive director for the Adams County Chapter said. ??We'll wait now until the storm hits and we will assess the need on the ground and more volunteers are expected to go.??

      As of 10:30 a.m. Monday, the Red Cross had sent 100 emergency response vehicles to the regions expected to be affected by the storm.

      "They're gone three weeks at a time, so it is definitely a commitment for them to drop everything. To serve and help the American Red Cross is just phenomenal," Shaffer said.

      At least 14 volunteers from the St. Louis-area chapter, which also includes the Hannibal regional office, are also east Monday.

      To find a shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site , call 1-800-RED CROSS or check local media outlets .

      They should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website , a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies.

      To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

      Ameren also announced Friday that it would send more than 100 employees and release 100 contractors to south New England as the region prepares for the potential aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.