MADISON (WKOW) -- The American Red Cross is preparing for what's expected to be a big need for disaster help in a number of states, and local volunteers are headed out to help the hurricane victims.
Denise Davenport has been traveling the country with the Red Cross disaster team's ERV--the emergency response vehicle--for five years. While handing out meals and supplies, she says volunteers learn more about the people who need help.
"We just open it [the ERV] up and we just talk to the people, and it's a good way of getting information about how everybody is doing, what areas are affected, because they'll tell you, 'Oh my house is gone and I live here'," says Davenport. "When you're out, you start saying well these people don't need shovels anymore, but now they need tarps for their roofs."
Davenport is headed to Louisiana with another ERV volunteer-- to a state where officials are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches land. Families in places like New Orleans have been stocking up on supplies and filling their gas tanks-- preparing for potential power outages and flooding.
Gov. Bobby Jindal says the storm will present unique challenges, but says the state is prepared.
"There are transportation resources available for those who need help. There are shelter slots available for those who need help, there are other resources for those with pets and special medical needs," says Jindal.
The Red Cross Western Wisconsin Region has sent 33 volunteers, with more on standby. They're headed to Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Two ERVs are deploying from our area-- for a total of 150 across the country.
MADISON (WKOW) -- American Red Cross volunteers from Wisconsin will travel south to support communities affected by Tropical Storm Isaac.
Forecasters are predicting Isaac will become a Category 1 hurricane as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico. Isaac is expected to hit land somewhere along the north Gulf Coast.
The Western Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross is sending more than 30 disaster volunteers to Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. They will help at shelters and distribute meals and water.
Tonight on 27 News at 10, we'll hear from a volunteer who talks about the challenges of disaster relief response.
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