Effects of Gustav

by Christa Lollis

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Feeding and housing thousands of evacuees is expensive and at a time when the Red Cross is already stretching their funds thin, having multiple hurricanes hitting the coast isn't helping.

"The disaster relief fund on the national level is still close to being depleted and so we really are asking for donations to help cover the expenses of the disaster. Red Cross does need that support," Glenna Harkness with the local Red Cross office explained.

The Lufkin office is asking East Texans to step up to help because even with plans in place, during a disaster anything can happen. Glenna said, "We really tried to think ahead of time. We tried to move them supplies for their shelter. We moved shelter kits, we had the kitchen so we tried to alleviate some of their costs that they would have to come up with out of pocket and we tried to take care of that."

Then there are the out of pocket expenses and evacuees that aren't expected who come to the Red Cross looking for help. Glenna said, "We did have some buses and we took care of them but we didn't really get hit near as bad as we did with Rita."

Even so, the American Red Cross national office announced today it will have to borrow money to cover expenses for Gustav, putting the organization further in debt.