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AUSTIN, Texas — Volunteers from all over are heading to the East Coast to help with disaster relief, including Austin Red Cross volunteers. Veronica Ramirez, the American Red Cross Regional Communications Manager, said there are two volunteers from Austin.
“Right now, we’re a part of the bigger structure of the response team,” said Ramirez. “So, in total, there’s about 600 volunteers. They’re being deployed to the region. Some of those might be closer whether it’s the neighboring states or within the states expected to be impacted by the hurricane.”
Ramirez said depending on what the destruction the hurricane leaves behind, the regional volunteers could be there for a while.
“Our region included San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Byran,” said Ramirez.
The volunteers are in Orlando, unless their location changes.
“Whether it’s a home fire, a hurricane or flooding, people don’t know what the next steps are,” said Ramirez. “Our volunteers are trained to help you begin the process of recovery.”
Ramirez said those steps to recover could be a lot of different things, like handing out supplies and making sure shelters are up and running the way they should.
“We have IT volunteers who set up our internet data basses to start opening and creating the cases for residents who’ve been affected by the hurricane,” said Ramirez. “Or we have public affairs volunteers like myself who will meet with media there.”
More volunteers could head that way, if need be.
“We’ll adjust and if people are willing to go and sign up to volunteer, we will get them there,” said Ramirez. “Disasters are always evolving. Hurricanes are always evolving. They’re a living weather phenomenon. So we have to adjust with that.”
In addition, Austin-Travis County EMS sent two ATCEMS Special Operations Rescue Medics to Florida as part of the Urban Search and Rescue team. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also deployed Texas resources, while Austin Energy deployed crews of its own.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Red Cross, you can contact them at 512-929-1237 or on their Facebook.
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