AZ Red Cross member to help with deadly storms relief effort - Tucson News Now

AZ Red Cross member to help with deadly storms relief effort

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Dan Coto is on his way to Little Rock, Arkansas to provide some support to the families and first responders effected by the recent outbreak of tornados across the South and Midwest.

Coto, who serves as the Regional Disaster Director for the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross, will fly out of Phoenix early Wednesday morning after a late night drive from Tucson.

He'll coordinate with other agencies and government groups, but Coto said he'll spend plenty of time with families.

"A lot of what I do is just sit there and listen to what people say and then you start thinking what's the best way to help them," he said.

Coto said he works with people who need their homes assessed for damage or those families who need to relocate into temporary shelters. He said the connections made with people, sometimes through a simple hug, keep him returning for more work.

"It's the best feeling," said Coto. "That's why I go back out on deployments."

This will be Coto's 10th deployment to a national disaster. He said some people can be overwhelmed by the size of it, with so many families in need of support. But this former volunteer firefighter said the attention to individuals and personal interaction is no different than an emergency in Tucson.

"The person who's lost everything in a house fire where they've lived all their lives is the same as what that person is experiencing right now over there," he said.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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