RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Early Sunday morning four locals boarded planes at the Richmond International Airport. Their mission — helping the American Red Cross provide disaster relief for Hurricanes Marco and Laura.
Christy Carneal, a spokeswoman with the Red Cross, said disaster responders volunteer to go to a disaster to provide relief. Responders have a variety of roles, from providing health services as a nurse to acting as shelter workers.
One person answering the call is Susie Clarke, a nurse who has been deployed with the Red Cross more than 50 times.
“I keep my bag packed all the time — everything but my pants and blouses,” she said. “Everything else I just keep in the luggage.”
Carneal said these four disaster responders were going to Texas and Louisiana. Ed Miller and Renee Bullano will be helping out in Batton Rouge, Louisiana. The couple said they thought it was important to go down and help — so important they put off their vacation to do so.
“We had a trip planned for the Outer Banks next week, and we decided that we could do that at any time but we couldn’t help people in need like we could if we took this opportunity,” Bullano said.
Ellen White, the fourth disaster responder, is heading to Houston, Texas, to help with logistics.
“I like to be behind the scenes to get everybody the supplies they need for the disaster,” she said.
In total, Corneal said the Red Cross was deploying 20 people from across the region to aid operations in Texas, Louisiana, Iowa and California.
To learn more about how you can also help, visit the Red Cross’s website.