Local Red Cross volunteers deployed to Harvey


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Thousands have been rescued from Hurricane Harvey. The storm is said to be one of the biggest to hit the Gulf Coast. As of Monday morning, Harvey is moving southeast towards Matagorda Bay and Gulf of Mexico; here it will pick up moisture before heading back to Galveston and Houston. These two cities have seen the worst of the damage thus far.

We have seen natural disasters like this before and the typical story tells us folks are trying their hardest to get into a safe space, but this morning KSN met two locals who are braving towards the disaster. Chuck Coe and Colin Hoyt have been volunteering for the Red Cross for over 50 years.

“This is just a part of what we do,” said Hoyt. “We love helping people and the place that needs us the most right now is Texas so, that’s where we’re going.”

The two volunteers met at the Douglas Red Cross location early this morning to prepare their Emergency Response Vehicle for the ride.

“We are all gassed up and ready to go,” said Coe. “We may stop to get a few more snacks so that we can drive straight through. We really don’t want to take longer then we have to get there.”

Jennifer Sanders, Red Cross director, tells KSN that by Tuesday there will be at least 1,500 volunteers on the ground to assist and offer aid to the communities affected by the hurricane. Over the weekend, the Red Cross hosted their annual training, where both Coe and Hoyt were present to learn about new procedures and a new app that helps with efficiency.

“Our volunteers at the training learned how to use a new app that provides real-time entry of what they’re seeing on the ground,” said Sanders. “For example, if they’re standing in front of a home that’s been affected by a flood, fire or tornado it allows them to record what they’re seeing and how that family was impacted right away, instead of filling out paperwork that could be lost in the transition.”

Both Colin and Chick will make it into Texas this afternoon, and the pair both say they are prepared with enough training and experience for the tasks at hand. They expect to provide food and help at shelters but their day-to-day assignments depend heavily on the changing needs of the affected communities.

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