HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Nearly a dozen specially trained volunteers packed up vehicles at the American Red Cross headquarters in Huntsville to head to south Alabama.
They’re called the Strike Team. These volunteers have been through extensive training to help with shelter needs, among other things, for people who may find themselves in the middle of a natural disaster.
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The team left at 9 a.m Monday to head to their staging area in Montgomery. They’ll wait there until they get more specific orders of where their help is needed.
For several of the volunteers, this will be their first mission.
For others, this is what they enjoy doing in retirement. One volunteer from DeKalb County says he became a Red Cross volunteer during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Craig Nichols, of Ider, said he continued volunteering after that and attributes his work for saving his life.
That’s because on April 27, 2011, he had been called out to volunteer for the Red Cross in his area. He said when he finished his duties that night, he came home and found he had no home. The tornadoes had destroyed it. So, he had to rely on help from the Red Cross himself.
Nichols and the other volunteers are packed for at least eight days on the road, although they don’t know where specifically they’ll be.
The volunteers said they were excited and nervous and hope that their services won’t be needed, but they’re trained to expect the unexpected.