NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There is a critical need for the American Red Cross, which serves The Deep East Texas Territory. The non-profit is losing a warehouse that is essential when disaster hits.
The American Red Cross warehouse on Paul Street in Lufkin is a blessing caused by disaster.
When Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike hit, Red Cross began using the old Sears store as a warehouse. The company has paid the rent ever since.
"We've got enough items here to cover 2,000 people if we have to open up shelters," said Scott Brawley, the disaster program manager for Deep East Texas.
But as Disaster Program Manager Scott Brawley told volunteers today, "Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. "The property has sold.
"The scary thing right now is that we have not located a place as of yet to move our stuff to," Brawley said.
Quick access to items from cots to bottled water is essential when disaster hits.
Ask the ones who make that first call to Red Cross.
"It's important to know they're centrally located here because it makes it a lot quicker on the response time because there are a lot of communities that don't have that pleasure," said Angelia County Sheriff Greg Sanches.
The warehouse serves a seven-county Deep East Texas territory. In addition, the Texas Gulf Coast Region can rely on it when necessary.
"We sent supplies all the way down to South Texas that have come through this warehouse.," said Chester Jourdan Jr. the executive director of the American Red Cross of Southeast and Deep East Texas. "We have a big national warehouse in Arlington, but we know, for us, when a disaster does hit, that we're going to be able to sustain ourselves for a period of time."
"The bottom line is we need to be prepared to open up a shelter within two hours," Brawley said.
As a result, the agency that is celebrating its 100th anniversary is asking for help in locating a donated building in either Angelina or Nacogdoches Counties, the hub of the region it serves.
"We can probably get by in a facility that's only 10,000 square feet with only one dock, in a pinch," Brawley said. "This has been awesome. An awesome part of our history. Sorry we got to lose it, but you know, life moves on and so will we."
If you have any property leads or would like to help with a donation, simply contact the American Red Cross Lufkin office at (936) 366-5118.