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Local Red Cross volunteers head south & west to flood-ravaged Texas

Volunteers with the Red Cross's Chattanooga Chapter got up before the sun on Monday to deliver much-needed supplies to Texas. (Image: WTVC)

Relief organizations across the country are springing into action to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, including the American Red Cross office in Chattanooga.

Volunteers spent the morning loading up an Emergency Response Vehicle.

They are now on their way to meet up with other volunteers at the Red Cross staging area in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Ken Cox is one of the first Red Cross volunteers from Chattanooga to head south to try and help out with Hurricane Harvey.

“We don't know exactly what location we're going to be assigned to yet,” Cox said.

Cox only knows he will first be pre-positioned in Baton Rouge. From there, he will be sent where he is most needed.

“We'll be feeding hot meals out of this truck, or bulk material, which is usually shovels, rakes, tarps, that sort of thing,” Cox said.

Julia Wright helped put together the first group of three representing Chattanooga.

With the group now in route, the focus turns to getting more volunteers trained.

“We have classes beginning at 11 a.m. all the way through 7 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday),” Wright said.


Wright said volunteers can make a huge difference in a very stressful and often chaotic time for storm victims.

“People come in very stressed after a disaster, and so we try and find them a safe comfortable place where they can be, until they can move into more of a recovery phase,” Wright said.

Wright said the size of the storm makes the need for volunteers even greater.

“Geographically, it's a very large disaster and is probably one of the largest disasters we've had in the last decade,” Wright said.

Meanwhile, Vince Carson said he has taken several of the volunteer classes, and encourages anyone who really wants to help to sign up for one of them.

“You can come in with no experience at all, and actually classes will build on no experience to where you can actually do anything you want with the Red Cross,” Carson said.

For Cox, this is the sixth time in the last year he has been asked to help out. He said he will keep going wherever he is needed.

“I enjoy helping people, and Red Cross gives me the opportunity to do that. It's a very gratifying job,” Cox said.

Anyone can make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross by texting HARVEY to 90999.

Beware of scams. Here's some advice from the Chattanooga Fire Department:


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