DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In North Texas, disaster relief organizations are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura. They’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
So far, the American Red Cross has sent six local volunteers down south. They’ll be joining close to 400 volunteers who are already stationed in coastal communities.
Texas Baptist Men has 5,300 volunteers on standby. All of their units – including food, chainsaw and cleanup teams – are ready to go at a moment’s notice. On Monday, some volunteers will be working to make sure their mobile kitchen is ready to be deployed. It’s capable of providing 1,500 meals a day.
When it comes to responding to situations like this, representatives for both organizations say COVID-19 has definitely made it more challenging. They’ve had to make adjustments to their protocols.
“We’ve been going through a lot of training,” American Red Cross Spokesperson Dan Halyburton said. “We’re working with our CDC guidelines, we work really closely with county health officials in the areas that we operate in, we got some really stringent protocols to make sure that if we do put people together in a congregate setting or a group shelter that we’re going to make sure that we can do that as safely as possible.. not only for the people in the shelter but for our Red Cross workers as well.”
“Our deployments are totally different right now because of covid,” Texas Baptist Men Director of Disaster Relief Dwain Carter said. “We’re limiting the numbers. There’s different housing.. the way we house them, the way they actually go out and work.. so this is a true test to what all these new covid guidelines will look like.”
Both of the disaster relief organizations are asking the public for donations ahead of what’s expected.