There is no denying the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has brought to Texas and the Gulf. And, in response, the American Red Cross is working around the clock to help the thousands of people whose lives, families, and well being have been impacted by the storm.
Miami-area Red Cross Spokesperson Roberto Baltodano talked with NewsRadio 610 WIOD Tuesday, regarding the importance of citizen donation and participation. You can listen to that full interview, here:
"We need our community to respond as if the storm were here," says Baltodano. Being from South Florida, and experiencing devastation brought on by Mother Nature, such as during Hurricane Andrew, Baltadano reminds us "...we know very well what the devastating effects of a hurricane are."
Locally, the Red Cross has hundreds of officials and volunteers on stand-by. In fact, response vehicles left Tuesday morning, making a stop in Louisiana first, and then heading to the Texas-area, according to Baltodano.
As of Tuesday morning, Baltodano says 17,000 individuals woke up in 45 shelters (one shelter as large as the Miami Beach Convention Center). This is the second time the Red Cross has had to deploy a fleet as large as this in aid -- the last time being during Hurricane Sandy.
Baltodano says Red Cross volunteers are equipped with items such as cots and cleaning supplies (buckets, bleach, towels, sponges) and similar items that people may need in order to guide them on the road to recovery.
Volunteers are also creating 'care packages' bags with personal hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and soap.
Baltodano urges the community to join together to help in the Harvey recovery effort. Those interested in donating, or learning more, can visit RedCross.org. You can also text "Harvey" to 90999.