NWA Red Cross Prepared as Tropical Storm Isaac Hits Florida
Tropical Storm Isaac is gaining strength as it moves north, pounding the Florida Keys with rain.
The Red Cross has more than 1,000 disaster workers in place, ready to provide assistance to those affected.
According to Red Cross Director of Communications, Jeff Patrick, more than 10 of those volunteers are from Northwest Arkansas.
“We’ve got volunteers that are down their providing warm meals, safe places to stay, emotional support for people that have already left their homes and then they are also prepositioning to make sure we are ready in case of mass flooding, in case of any damage that happens that people have to evacuate,” Patrick said.
Along with volunteers, the Red Cross has sent 30,000 ready-to-eat meals as well as two mobile kitchens.
Dozens of Red Cross shelters are on stand-by and more than 50 prepositioned support trailers are ready with supplies.
“We’ve already got some people in those shelters, we’ve got five shelters open with 115 people that stayed last night,” Patrick said.
The death toll in Haiti from Tropical Storm Isaac has now risen to at least seven.
Patrick said the Red Cross is prepared if a similar situation hits the states.
“Our volunteers, on a disaster scene, deal with anything from illness, fatalities, injuries, things of that nature,” Patrick said. “We have disaster health workers and disaster mental health workers to work with our clients and our volunteers to make sure everybody is taken care of.”
Forecasters are expecting the storm to be upgraded to a category 2 hurricane as it hits the northern Gulf Coast.
The Red Cross is prepared to send more volunteers and disaster warehouses in Mississippi and Georgia are ready to ship additional emergency supplies to Florida as needed.
Isaac is expected to cause serious flooding throughout the region, and the Red Cross needs your help. You can call, click or text and donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.