Hampton Roads taking action to help people of Texas as Hurricane Harvey hits

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Hampton Roads is taking action right now to help the people of Texas as Hurricane Harvey hits.

Volunteers from our region are already down in Texas and there are more people headed down to help.

The people of Texas are bracing for intense weather and right now the Red Cross and other groups already have a massive relief effort underway.

“An email started going out early this week when the predictions were indicating that the storm was going to be stronger,” said American Red Cross of Coastal Virginia Executive Director Marissa Nihill.

As of 5 p.m., 14 volunteers from Virginia have been sent to Texas. Three  are from Hampton Roads, according to the Red Cross.

“We operate at a state of ready all the time.  We are always preparing,” said Nihill.

The intense predictions have also caused Operation Blessing International to send people to Texas.

“We know this one is going to hit so we are in full deployment mode,” said President Bill Horan.

Operating Blessing sent News 3 information about their plan:

“Specializing in large-scale disaster relief including mass volunteer management, Operation Blessing’s advance team left Virginia Beach this morning for the organization’s warehouse facility in Dallas, TX, where Operation Blessing’s first responders are staged with disaster relief equipment and supplies of emergency food and water. Once the dangerous storm conditions abate, the team will head to the hardest hit area and meet with emergency management officials to determine the greatest areas of need.
Operation Blessing has deployed a convoy of disaster relief equipment, which departed from the organization’s Ocala, FL warehouse this morning. It includes:
-Mobile Command Center (Mobile VRC) – Equipped with on-board satellite, repeater system for VHF radios, and computers to set up “Safe & Well” and FEMA Registration spots for residents
-Mobile Kitchen: Self-contained with 4K meals on board
-Construction Trailer: Full of volunteer supplies, tools and personal protective equipment
-Shower Trailer – 8 showers
-Box Truck: Full of supplies for mass volunteer management, food for hot meals, emergency tarps, cots and more
-80 KW Generator: To energize a large building and serve as a source of power for operations

Operation Blessing expects to begin coordinating local volunteer efforts early next week and will call for volunteers to help residents whose homes have been damaged. Stay tuned for more information at www.ob.org.”

More information from the Red Cross and how to help:

"The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies as well as tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort. Trailers full of shelter supplies including cots and blankets—enough to support more than 20,000 people—are scheduled to arrive in Texas.

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check."

“Operation Blessing has done so much to alleviate suffering and save lives all over the world were especially excited for about being able to help people right here at home in the United States,” said Horan.