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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