LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - American Red Cross volunteers from across the nation, including two in Lufkin, are ready to give aid as Hurricane Michael pounds the Florida panhandle with heavy rains.
“There’s at least two or may be three of us on standby to go to Florida,” said Rodney Thompson, a volunteer. “I’ve been prepared since the one that hit North Carolina. My bags are packed. We have a bag full of our bedding and gear like that cause we’re more than likely be in a staff shelter.”
Packing at least two weeks' worth of personal supplies, Thompson said there’s is not an easy way to mentally prepare for what he’s about to do, but he said you can make sure enough supplies are packed to help distribute to those in need.
“And you try to have as much as empathy and sympathy as you can for these people and just try to be there,” Thompson said. “And one of the things that I’ve learned is, the first thing you say is, ‘How can we help you?’ You just walk in tell people, ‘How can we help you?’ And that’s how you do it.”
City of Houston Assistant Police Chief Henry Gaw was just in Florida on a business trip.
“When I just left Orlando, you see the angst that the people are feeling, but it reminds us that hey, law enforcement is there to protect, and we as a community need to help each other out,” Gaw said.
Hurricane Michael is expected to move to central Georgia by Thursday.
“We just won’t know until we walk in there. But we’ve been trained,” Thompson said. “Whatever we’re going to do, we’ve already done it before so we’re prepared.”