Local American Red Cross volunteers heading to help along the gulf coast

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 18:06:30-04

"It's really sad to see the devastation in Texas, I know that they said this could be the worst disaster in that area ever recorded," said Amanda Pasko.

When the Anne Arundel County woman got the email, she says she didn't hesitate.  Pasko has been training with the Red Cross for natural disaster relief for about eight months.

"I know that I had the time, and I knew that my work would be very flexible in allowing me to go, so immediately responded,” Pasko said.  “We took a 2.5-hour preparation course in addition to all the courses that we took previously to get us ready for this deployment."

Pasko and about 100 other volunteers from the region are traveling more than 1,200 miles to the hardest hit areas of the gulf coast.  None of them sure exactly what they will encounter.

"We'll be setting up shelters, providing them with meals throughout the day, helping them find family members," said Volunteer Trey Anderson.

"I know that there's gonna be so many different needs that will need to be filled, whether it be people who are looking for food, shelter, water, a few snacks, they might need counseling," Pasko said.

Along with the man power, Red Cross is also transporting meals, blankets and toiletries to Harvey’s victims.

Four emergency response vehicles will also be heading down from the region in the next few days.  Mobile units are key in disasters because crews can bring food and supplies to people in devastated areas.

The vehicles will be stocked and head out for mass distributions, providing fresh water and kind words to thousands of people who lost everything in the historic storm.

Being able to make a difference like that is the reason Pasko signed up.

"I really feel that I can make an impact on people's lives,” she said.  “When I look back on this I really think that it's going to be very rewarding and a good memory, a good feeling that I’m able to help other people."

The Red Cross has shelter supplies for about 34,000 people in South Texas, with supplies to support another 18,000 people en-route.  You can donate to the effort HERE.