ROANOKE, Va. – The American Red Cross is mobilizing and preparing for a recovery that could last months or even years. Here at home, Red Cross staff are taking in donations but also working to get people on the ground.
C.D. Reavis is packing and preparing to head to southeast Texas. He is an American Red Cross volunteer and even though this is only his second disaster deployment, he's ready for the challenge.
"I've had 15 years of search-and-rescue volunteer work plus military service, so I was kind of used to being picked up and carried somewhere, put down and told what to do," said Reavis.
After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas this weekend, the Red Cross in Roanoke jumped into action. But the focus isn't just on donations; staff are searching for volunteers like Reavis that if needed could deploy to Texas at a moment's notice.
"Nothing that's happening in the hurricane region can be done without Red Cross volunteers. Once the search and recovery is done, we're going to need shelter help, we're going to need feeding help," said Jackie Grant, executive director, American Red Cross Virginia region.
Disaster volunteers do everything from warehouse loading to helping feed and clothe hurricane victims. Becoming a Red Cross volunteer is typically a short and simple process. For Reavis, who became a volunteer last year, the process was worth it. Now he can head to Texas, armed with purpose.
"It gives me a sense of peace, it's somewhat of a religious calling for me, to give back to people and help people when I can," said Reavis.
There are two ways to donate to the Red Cross. You can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "HARVEY" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
If you're interesting in becoming a volunteer, click here.