Local Red Cross preparing for Hurricane Florence

MIDLAND -- The American Red Cross has 100 emergency response vehicles headed for the Atlantic coast. The massive team of volunteers includes about 25 people from here in West Texas.

“The Carolinas donated over $2 million for Harvey,” Tracy Austin, executive director of the Permian Basin Red Cross, said. “And so it’s our turn to repay them, and that’s why we’re sending our volunteers and we’re sending our equipment and resources to them now.”

Austin said that almost 7000 people are already in shelters, and that number will only increase as the storm moves closer.

“We expect that there are going to be about a hundred thousand people that will need shelter in the next few days,” Austin said. “And so we have deployed about 1500 people, disaster workers, to go there now to take care of the people in need.”

The Red Cross will provide food, shelter, and medical care to anyone who needs it. Volunteers will stay on the coast for two weeks, at which time they will be relieved by another wave of workers.

“We always need a new influx of volunteers,” Austin said. “So we’ll need more volunteers in 2 weeks, we’ll need more volunteers in 4 weeks. We’ll need volunteers in 8 weeks. Because this is not going to go away anytime soon.

If you’d like to help out, go to the American Red Cross website and fill out a quick application under the volunteers tab.