Local Red Cross response to Harvey relief efforts underway, you can help too

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The worst of Harvey is not over yet. Houston is currently in the middle of catastrophic and life-threatening flooding. Other parts of Texas and Louisiana are preparing for flooding in their areas in the coming days. The American Red Cross has launched one of its largest relief efforts to date, and they need all the help they can get.

"This is really a unique disaster because we are still in the middle of the disaster. It hasn't played out," said Khris Anderson, North Alabama Red Cross Executive Director.

125 Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles are already in the affected areas, and 232 more are en route.

"To provide that mass feeding. A lot of times people who are in shelters, they will have feeding there on site, but a lot of times people are at home hunkered down," Anderson explained.

But in order to provide those meals, water, cots, and blankets, the Red Cross needs your help.

"You can call us at 1-800-Red Cross [1 (800) 733-2767]. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 and very easily make a $10 donation," said Anderson.

She said the victims of this disaster already need so much help, and will continue to need assistance long after it's over.

"This is not just a Texas or Louisiana disaster, this impacts every one of us. I know all of us have family out there, or we know someone who lives out there," said Anderson.

She said crews on the ground have enough supplies to help 20,000 people for weeks, but many more than that are being impacted. Soon enough they will need more supplies, and more volunteers.

"Right now the best thing you can do to help the Red Cross and help the people there is to provide financial resources. We'll make sure you can designate that specifically to Harvey, and that money goes to Harvey," said Anderson.

Anderson said North Alabama volunteers are assisting in mass feedings, driving the emergency response vehicles, and shelter management.

"You guys should be so proud of the people that we have that are volunteering here from the Red Cross. They are up to date, they know what to do," she said.

She said more than 6,000 people slept in shelters last night, more than 200,000 are without power, and those numbers are growing from day to night.

Anderson is stationed in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is just two hours from Houston. They are preparing for any devastating flooding they might get. She is working with local Red Cross directors there to help people in the rural communities.

"That's something that we really care about. Not just the larger areas that we see and hear about, but also those little tiny rural communities that need Red Cross assistance," she explained.

Anderson said the Red Cross is ready to open even more shelters in Texas, and shelters in Louisiana, as needed. In Lake Charles they are experiencing some heavy rain, and she said there is a feeling of nervousness as they wait to see what the storm does there.

The Red Cross says right now supplies are not needed.  Monetary donations are what is most needed currently.

For more information you can visit redcross.org/alabama.