COLCHESTER, Vt. - As the recovery from Harvey’s devastation begins, the people of Texas are getting help from across the country. The Red Cross of Vermont is already sending several team members to Houston to help.
Kevin Mazuzan, the Executive Director of Red Cross Vermont says they started deploying volunteers immediately.
“The big shelter in Houston at the Convention Center is being run by our regional disaster officer. She’s bringing the best practices of Vermont to Houston and she’s running that facility along with our chief commuter,” Mazuzan said.
Volunteers from the Vermont area are assisting by helping administer need assessments of each individual family. They are helping create the road path to normalcy, which Mazuzan says will take a lot of time. Volunteers are also helping to logistically move products around. As of Thursday, Mazuzan says the organization has over 80 tractor trailers full of sheltering supplies. 18 additional trailers are on their way down south. The organization also has a number of kitchen trailers that can produce up to 10,000 meals a day.
“Our staff is working with our partner organizations as well, providing those meals, and we have another six trailers on the way, so our volunteers are embedded in the recovery down there from this region, which is pretty intense having a number of people from a smaller region be in the forefront of the recovery in Houston,” Mazuzan said.
Mazuzan says volunteers are working more than 12 hours a day down in Houston.
The American Red Cross is always in need of more assistance. If you would like to help, you must be trained. The organization is working on a disaster boot camp in the local region to help train those individuals to go down to Houston.
“This recovery is going to take a long time, so we will need to continue to put more volunteers down there as we go forward,” Mazuzan said.
The Red Cross is also looking for financial support from the community.
“Disasters cost a lot of money, and there has been an incredible outpouring to the organization already. This is going to be an ongoing, very long event, so we are continuing to look for those donations,” Mazuzan said.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross you can click here.