Disaster Relief Crews in Mobile Collect Items, Make Their Way to Southeast Texas

The American Red Cross Chapter in Mobile will send several teams with 5 to 6 members toward southeast Texas in the coming days. Members of the crew will operate the mobile feeding unit in the ERV’s (Emergency Response Vehicles pictured here).(Prescotte Stokes III/pstokes@al.com)

Volunteers for the American Red Cross Chapter in Mobile loaded up their Emergency Response Vehicles on Monday morning and headed to a staging area in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston.

ARC Chapter in Mobile Disaster Program Specialist Joseph Hilliard said they were officially put 120-day notice on Friday (August 25).

“We contacted our volunteers to see who was available to work,” said Hilliard. “We contacted the Emergency Management Agency and we’re basically waiting on their guidance to direct us to what they’re going to need.”

Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall in Corpus Christi, Texas on Thursday (August 24) night as a category 4 Hurricane. Since then, Harvey has brought over 20 inches of rain to portions of southeast Texas since, according to the National Weather Service.

The forward motion of Harvey has stalled and due to the slow motion, another 15 to 25 inches of rainfall is expected through Thursday of this week in the Houston, Texas area and stretching across state lines into west Louisiana. The NWS reported that storm totals in some locations near the center of storm may approach 50 inches producing devastating flooding.

In Mobile, volunteers from the Salvation Army, United Way, Catholic Social Services have collaborated with the ARC to offer help to storm victims.

Members of the American Red Cross Chapter in Mobile will operate the mobile feeding unit (pictured here) that will be attached ERV’s (Emergency Response Vehicles) in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas. (Prescotte Stokes III/pstokes@al.com)

The ARC will send teams with of 5 to 6 members toward southeast Texas in the coming days. Members of the crew will operate the mobile feeding unit in the ERV’s (Emergency Response Vehicles), others will be assisting inside of ARC shelter facilities and others will serve as case workers for storm victims.

“Right now this what we call a massive mass care operation,” said Hilliard. “Sheltering individuals as well as feeding. With the ERV’s it’ll be a mobile feeding unit and help individuals that way. The case workers will find out what their current circumstances are in recovery and then try to guide them on the road to full recovery.”

The ARC has also initiated an accelerated volunteer training program for anyone who wants to offer assistance in disaster recovery in southeast Texas. Once a person reaches out to the ARC in Mobile, a background check will be performed along with a training session that will last for a week or more.

“The disaster itself is going to take months so we’re looking at having to rotate people out,” said Hilliard. “Will put them through an expedited training and it’ll be a week or so before they’re ready to go.”

“Don’t just sit there, go help your mother.” Is a phrase Southern children have heard almost daily, and holding doors and carrying groceries is just the beginning of raising a caring and kind child who isn’t afraid to help others when they’re grown.

On Dauphin Island, Anchor Realty has begun taking donations at the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce to send to storm victims.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said the process has been a grassroots effort by the realty company and the city has been happy to assist.

“Really the whole Dauphin Island community is getting together and trying to collect items to get to the folks dealing with the disaster in Texas,” said Collier. “So, we’ll be collecting anything that might be helpful to them.”

The relief items can be dropped off at the Dauphin Island Town Hall, any local realtor’s office and Delta Disaster Services located at 5465 Business Parkway, Unit A in Theodore.

They are only asking residents to donate new items listed below in their original packaging:

Gloves

Plastic/rubber totes with lids Unused new flat packing boxes Packing tape Contractor trash bags Tarps Plastic sheeting Dish soap Bleach Sponges Dish scrub brushes Pet food Diapers Hand/ dish towels New dry socks Playing cards

The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office is also heading to southeast Texas to provide help. The MCSO will depart from their location on Howells Ferry Road at 5 a.m. on Tuesday (August 29) morning.

The MCSO plans to keep the Mobile community updated on their participation in assisting with recovery efforts through their social media accounts.

Mobile police seized two ounces of cocaine, multiple guns and over $11,000 in cash during a drug raid at an Eight Mile home on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.
Nathaniel Sebastian (left) and Susan Mayo (right)

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