LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The American Red Cross is on alert as Tropical Storm Alex moves through the Gulf of Mexico, and Lubbock chapter volunteers are gearing up to deploy before the storm comes ashore.
Volunteers Dwain Cox and Karl Craig will deliver a mobile feeding unit known as an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV 2182) to a staging area. If Alex does impact the Texas Coastline they will spend up to 14 hours a day driving and providing hot meals and cold drinks to over 500 people at a time.
"ERV Drivers are the 'Tip of the Spear' in Red Cross disaster relief", said Bill Curnow, Senior Volunteer and Service Delivery Chair for the South Plains Regional Chapter. "The food and supplies they carry play an important role in helping those affected by disasters begin their recovery."
This will be Dwain's first national deployment and Karl's second since joining the Red Cross in 2007. Both are experienced local disaster responders and serve as Captains in the Chapter's Disaster Action Team.
Weather experts forecast that Alex could intensify and become a hurricane within the next couple of days. While the path of the storm is not yet certain, most models show that Alex may come ashore along the coast of Mexico or Texas. Hurricane watches are now in effect for the southern coast of Texas and the northern coast of Mexico. The storm's path is expected to be far from the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.
The Red Cross begins preparing for potential hurricanes well before the first storm even forms. For instance, the Red Cross already has thousands of potential shelter locations in states along the Gulf of Mexico, and chapters are prepared to open shelters within a few hours if needed. Shelter supplies such as cots and blankets are available nationwide at all times to support a half million shelter residents. Disaster relief supplies such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, mops, gloves, and disinfectant are also available, located in 24 warehouses near disaster-prone areas.
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