RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hurricane Harvery has strengthened to a Category 3 storm as it prepares to make landfall in Texas by late Friday or early Saturday.
The American Red Cross has already begun preparing, and local volunteers are on their way to help staff the dozens of shelters that are expected to open to cater to the millions of people in harm’s way.
“The focus right now is just trying to get people out of harm’s way,” James Hatcher with the Red Cross said. “The Red Cross of Virginia has deployed approximately 10 people down to the state of Texas and we will be anticipating sending a fair number more over the next few weeks.”
Volunteers will be running support for emergency shelters, taking roughly 200-300 cots. Also en route are emergency vehicles that are equipped to do mass meal preparation. The Red Cross is also the boots on the ground to help report back to government agencies of who needs assistance and where.
“That’s kind of what when people think about the Red Cross, this is what they think of, response to large scale disasters,” Hatcher said. “We spend a lot of time and effort and energy training volunteers, training staff to be available and prepared to go and support situations just like this.”
Hatcher says they are preparing their staff to be prepared for a long road of recovery.
“We’re trying to get our staff and volunteers kind of in the thinking of this is going to be a many, many month process to get through this,” he explained.
If you want to help those affected the Red Cross says you can visit their website to make a donation.