LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Two men are on standby in Lufkin in case they need to activate the Red Cross's Emergency response vehicle when Hurricane Alex makes landfall.
The organization has also put volunteers and shelters on standby in case they're needed. In the midst of the preparations, the Red Cross's fiscal year will start tomorrow and they're looking at a very tight budget.
"I do expect that donations will be down some this year. I think all the non-profit agencies are struggling with the same thing," said Emergency Service Specialist Jeanie Miles.
But, she says even on a tighter budget, they'll continue to send out their emergency response vehicle when it's necessary and help out those in need.
"The response will be the same, we will always respond, we'll always be there and always respond as needed like I said, it does make it a lot easier if we have the funds to do so,' said Miles.
Volunteers like Jim Oglesby, who's on standby right now for Hurricane Alex, help the system work when money is tight.
"Serving the people and helping the people and that's work. We'll go from maybe five o'clock in the morning to 9 o'clock at night. If they need help, we'll help them and like I say we're strictly volunteer," said Oglesby.
The retired firefighter has been giving his time for years and he says he's happy to help.
"It's just knowing that you're helping somebody. I got the feeling that I helped somebody, it just makes me feel good to help people," said Oglesby.
Now the organization has to raise their own money to help East Texas fire victims.
"At one point national was reimbursing all of the service delivery areas 100 percent for their fires, so everything that we spent on a fire case was reimbursed by national. At this point, they are no longer reimbursing us the 100 percent," said Miles.
But, Miles says they will continue to serve, even if it means borrowing money and paying it back with donations later.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating just contact the American Red Cross in Lufkin.