Eastern Kentucky Volunteers Ready to Help Gustav Evacuees

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Volunteers from eastern Kentucky are helping people trying to escape Hurricane Gustav's destruction.

The Red Cross is providing shelter in Kentucky as Hurricane Gustav barrels toward the Gulf Coast. The American Red Cross can accept up to five thousand evacuees in Kentucky, and though most shelters are in the central and western parts of the state, some people here in eastern Kentucky are taking the trip to help wherever they can.

As Kentucky prepares for evacuees from the south, local Red Cross chapters are still finding their way to help out.

"We don't know at this time when they will be deployed, but they are standing, ready in the event that they are," says Director of the Big Sandy Red Cross chapter, Robyn Tackett.

"There was no arraignment made initially for large scale shelters to be open in eastern Kentucky, but that doesn't stop the Red Cross chapters there from helping with the evacuee response," says Kerry Graul, Disaster Relief Coordinator.

These Big Sandy volunteers say they are ready to go.

"Oh yes, I would do anything that they needed down there. They need help and in times of disaster, that is what the Red Cross is for," says volunteer Amanda Presley.

James Hennon is ready to head out to help and says "You feel like you need to do it. These people are leaving their homes, they need a place to go and they need a friendly face, someone that is willing to give their time and come and help them."

Hennon says you never know what to expect walking into a disaster situation.

"I'm an EMT, so I could be in the medical field, I could be helping feed, I could be doing anything. You really don't know, but whatever they want you to do, you're willing to just step up and do it," says Hennon.

But Robyn Tackett says as eager as people are to help in this time of disaster, Red Cross volunteers need to have training before they help out.

"We like to make sure that the volunteers that are affiliated and working in these events have the proper training to be able to provide the assistance at the level they expect from Red Cross," says Tackett.

For now James Hennon is waiting for the call to help.

These volunteers say they are ready to leave for the gulf coast if and when their help is needed there. Director Robyn Tackett says monetary donations are always welcome to help the Gustav evacuees.

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  • by vicky Location: warbranch on Sep 1, 2008 at 03:24 PM
    i can understand people wonten to help other why is it so hard for someone to help us here in eastern kentucky seem likes when somthing comes up for us no one wonts to help.i guess that why they are goog people in eastren ky.
  • by amanda Location: harlan on Aug 31, 2008 at 06:58 PM
    maybe someone could get in touch with the county's judge in harlan county,ky and see if they can open the old evarts high school to help out the evacuees!the evarts high school would be a perfect place and they can sit up alot of cots and it does have a kitchen!! hope someone in the county can help the people that had to leave there homes!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!
  • by Amelia Location: Prestonsburg on Aug 31, 2008 at 04:37 PM
    I think volunteering for Red Cross is a great way of giving back to our local communities. If you want to be ready to respond to this type of disaster, contact the Big Sandy Chapter at 606-886-8330 or 606-339-5911. It has really made a difference in my life. The fellowship between the volunteers is like no other. It's a wonderful organization to be involved in.


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