ETX Red Cross deploys to East Coast - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX Red Cross deploys to East Coast

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Red Cross volunteers all over East Texas are responding to the call for help along the East Coast. The Red Cross is deploying crews in emergency response vehicles pre-landfall to prepare for Hurricane Irene.

The Smith County Chapter's Red Cross team left for Maryland a little after 5 p.m. Thursday while other ETX crews headed to New York and North Carolina. 

Tammy Prater, the Executive Director, says the emergency response vehicles travel light until they reach their destination and assess what is needed most. Then, the trucks are loaded up on site, becoming fully equipped to go out in the field. Sometimes crews will deliver water, food, or clean-up kits. In other cases, the vehicles carry medical workers and mental health workers though neighborhoods where they offer counseling and first aid immediate post storm.

"I really love that with the American Red Cross we train our volunteers and empower them in times of crisis and emergency- to out and help doing the feeding and the sheltering; to be the actual hands-on care," Prater says.

The crew plans on staying in Maryland for at least two weeks.

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