Northwest Louisiana Red Cross Volunteers on Alert to Help With Hurricane Sandy Recovery
Locals are ready to help with Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts, if needed. The American Red Cross has moved volunteers and Emergency Response Vehicles in Shreveport, Monroe and Alexandria up to "alert status."Local Chapter Assistant Director Michelle Davison says that's a step up from stand-by, but not yet a request for activation. This gives volunteers time to clear their calendars, and pack what they'll need to take with them. Once they're activated, they'll only have about 24 hours to prepare before they head out. Davison says that gets "boots on the ground" in the quickest amount of time possible.
Each ERV carries a two-person crew with it. Those vehicles serve as mobile units for feeding and item distribution (things like water, cleaning supplies, and tarps) -- and sometimes include a client caseworker.
With power outages affecting flights coming in or going out of the affected areas, that means local volunteers will be driving to their destinations. That could mean going to places in Virginia or West Virginia, as opposed to Pennsylvania or New York.
More than 250 Red Cross shelters are open across 16 states with nearly 11,000 residents. Those numbers could increase before the day is over.
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