As Hurricane Ida approaches the Gulf Coast, Texas organizations are preparing to assist in relief efforts.
World Vision, a Christian humanitarian aid organization, is preparing to send four truckloads of supplies to Louisiana. Partner coordinator Roberta Taylor said two of the trucks are from their North Texas location, while the others are arriving from West Virginia.
“Each truck accommodates approximately 2,000 people,” Taylor said. “That’s usually tarps, usually diapers, hand sanitizers, of course, wipes, cleaning supplies.”
Taylor said other supplies include airbeds and tents.
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“It’s very hard to think about what will happen, but our prayer is always that it won’t happen,” she said. “In case it does, we’re just thankful that we are in a position where we’re ready to react and help those that are in need.”
Other organizations, such as Texas Baptist Men, are also prepared to assist.
For the past 53 years, the organization has responded to major disasters in Texas and other states. Associate executive director John-Travis Smith said the plan is to send at least 75 people toward Louisiana on Monday morning.
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“Everything we’ve been told, we’re going. So, unless it just absolutely breaks down at the last minute, even if it just ends up as a tropical depression or something like… there will still be damage, and we’ll probably still be going,” Smith said. “Depending on if the storm gets worse, the damage gets worse… we’ll probably send more people. We literally have thousands on standby right now.”
Like other organizations, Texas Baptist Men is volunteer-led.
“It’s just incredible to see people bring their talents that they’ve had in the workforce, whatever it may be, and they bring that to help us. It makes a huge impact,” Smith said. “Just the heart of Texans and believers, especially, they want to come and help out. It makes our job really easy just to help guide where we need them.”
The American Red Cross is continuing its preparations.
About 500 trained Red Cross volunteers, including some from the North Texas area, have been mobilized to help open shelters and support people who need a safe place to say as Ida approaches. According to the organization, there are truckloads of additional cots, blankets comfort kits and roughly 68,000 ready-to-eat meals arriving in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday.
“We don’t know if it is going to have widespread devastation where there is going to be people who have lost everything, or if it is just going to be one of these where it comes through the place a little bit batter and bruised but everything is OK,” said Michelle Tanner, a volunteer with the Red Cross public affairs team in Dallas. “It’s one of these great moments where you have an opportunity to help another person at a point where they just really need some help whether it’s just a smile and a helping hand, whether it’s just a warm meal.”
Organizers said monetary donations are most helpful during relief efforts.