Local Red Cross volunteers head to Texas in face of Hurricane Ha - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local Red Cross volunteers head to Texas in face of Hurricane Harvey

Posted: Updated:

Ten Red Cross volunteers from Iowa are headed into Houston, Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall Friday evening. As Harvey strengthens, so is the need for help. Thousands of Red Cross volunteers are deploying out to Texas to help. Right here in Iowa, ten volunteers have already hit the road, and four are on stand-by. 

Volunteers from Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Dubuque, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and Ames are making their way to Texas. 

As people in Texas are being forced to evacuate their homes, these Red Cross volunteers are headed right in.

Robert Jones and Joe Vich left from Waterloo Friday afternoon. For the two of them, this is their sixth disaster mission. 

 "As it turns out we got a call about noon today and they wanted us to get rolling here today," said Vich.

They plan on driving five to six hour tonight, and finishing the rest of the 16 hour drive Saturday morning. 

For Jones, this one hits close to home-he's originally from Houston. 

"Brother and sister-in-law are going to stay in place and everything," said Jones. "Hopefully, they won't get too much flood."

Both Jones and Vich went through an extensive vehicle inspection report before they hit the road.

The truck they're traveling with is empty. As soon as they get into Texas, they'll visit the warehouse, where they will load up on supplies.

"Cleanup kits, comfort kits, those that have to evacuate immediately don't have time to grab all their stuff and everything," said Jones. 

"Early on we might just be going into neighborhoods and giving them snacks, because a lot of times they lose their drinking water and don't have the ability to do anything yet," said Vich.

The two will be helping out wherever they're needed, whether it's handing out hot meals or helping those who have medical conditions get their medicine. Jones, who is also a certified paramedic has helped diabetic and epileptic patients during disasters. 

"With any hurricane that  I've ever been to, there's a high incidence of tornadoes after the fact, so we could be there two three weeks," said Jones.

Both don't have any idea as to how long they will be stationed in Texas, but they do know one thing for certain-they're needed. 

"Helping them get back on their feet, giving them some encouragement and some food," said Vich. "I pray for the people in Texas."

Vich says other Iowans can help by donating to the Red Cross, which will help disaster relief efforts in Texas. 

Powered by Frankly