American Red Cross prepares for hurricanes

POSTED: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 3:56pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- While it's still hot and dry in central Texas, the American Red Cross is preparing for rain.

J.P. DeMeritt, director of emergency services, said an unusual amount of hurricanes are being predicted.

"Authorities expect that at the peak of the hurricane season, we're very likely to have more hurricanes than usual. Which means there's a pretty good chance that people are going to be coming in off the coast and looking to places like Waco, and Palestine, and Bryan/College Station for shelter," said DeMeritt.

Preparing for evacuees is a troubling task.

"It's really difficult to tell just what's going to happen. What we could end up with is a very large number of relatively weak tropical storms. Or we could end up with a relatively large number of hurricanes and a couple of real monsters. You never know," said DeMeritt.

But the red cross is working now to make sure anyone that comes to them is guaranteed help.

"We will be there. We will deploy people. We will deploy assets like our emergency response vehicles and our shelter trailers and our people, wherever they are needed to provide service," said DeMeritt.

Sandra Hodo, CEO of Heart of Texas American Chapter of the American Red Cross, said their services wouldn't be possible without donations. Something the red cross is lacking.

"We've just had a lot of disaster's this year. And, you know we can't just quit. We just have a lot of neighbors that depend on us," said Hodo.

Hodo said donations are up and down in years like this with large disaster because people give to catastrophes like the tsunami in Japan, Haiti, or tornadoes in Alabama and forget about the smaller disaster's.

"During the tsunami times then, we saw the donations go up and then there's a valley, because, you know, people feel good. They've, they've given and, then they kind of, you know, kind of quit giving because they feel like they've given already," said Hodo.

Donations also provide for our local firefighter's as they continue to battle this historical drought.

"What we do is we go out when our, volunteer fire departments and fire departments have been working fires for a long time. Whether it's a house fire or whether it's a wildfire, we go out and we canteen those fire departments," said Hodo.


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