Daryl Moore’s third trip to Hawaii will be nothing like his first two.
Retired after a 43-year career with Evansville’s Old National Bank, Moore today is a volunteer with the American Red Cross of Southwest Indiana. On the morning of Aug. 23, he was to leave for wildfire-ravaged Hawaii, where he will assist with relief efforts.
In an Aug. 22 phone call with Evansville Living staff, Moore says he has “great memories” of two vacations to the scenic islands, but this time, he’ll arrive in a place suffering tragedy and uncertainty. At least 115 people are confirmed dead, with about 850 people unaccounted for.
The fire in Lāhainā, Hawaii, ignited Aug. 8 and was fueled by hurricane-force winds, according to Hawaiian news agency bigislandnow.com. It is considered 90 percent contained and has burned 2,170 acres.
Moore says he was put on “24-hour alert” by the Red Cross last week, and he was notified of his deployment Monday afternoon. Moore expects to be in Hawaii for three weeks — although Red Cross deployments usually are two weeks, this one is longer due to the lengthy travel.
On prior Red Cross missions, Moore aided tornado recovery efforts in Central Indiana and in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Hawaii, he says his initial assignment “will be sheltering, which will entail making sure the sheltered are receiving great care, are safe, and know that we care about them and their situations and will do whatever we can to assist them in these very difficult times.”
Moore says on his tornado recovery deployments, people he assisted knew the status of loved ones. But in Hawaii, according to news reports, “there are people who have not been found, so that will be a different dynamic. And people not knowing what to do next.”
The ebb and flow of relief efforts could move Moore into some other roles once reaching Lāhainā. He says Red Cross volunteers are asked to be flexible, and he could also wind up assisting with feeding or reunification work.
Moore was chief credit officer at ONB when he retired last year, and he became involved with the Red Cross shortly before his banking career concluded.
He says online courses prepared him for his role in disaster recovery, but “the real training comes when you’re doing it. Now that I have a couple (of deployments) under my belt, I feel more comfortable.”
The Red Cross, Moore says, tells its volunteers to be empathetic and good listeners. Moore anticipates doing a lot of listening over the next three weeks in Hawaii.
“I’m just hoping and praying I’m helpful to the people out there,” he says.