How to donate to red cross hurricane irma relief
How to donate to Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief

Local Red Cross staff and volunteers assist in Houston, other DMV crews prepare to leave

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Across the DMV, staff, volunteers, and crews are heading to Houston to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Volunteers and staff with the American Red Cross from across the country have already responded, including from the National Capital Region.

Art Shaw, Partnership Officer, did a FaceTime interview with DCW 50 from Houston.

He said their biggest issue is the high water preventing volunteers and supplies from coming into Houston or anywhere along the coast.

"For the first time ever we had to call for dump trucks on Sunday because that was the only way we could get volunteers and equipment and supplies into a shelter, because water was so high," he says. "All of the sudden you have 500 volunteers down here and you really need about 5,000, and we’re just waiting to get those people in."

Through trucks and a helicopter, he says the National Guard helped them transport various supplies.

Meanwhile in Montgomery County, personnel with the Maryland Task Force One are preparing to send another team to Houston.

The task force and Virginia Task Force One already sent some members on Sunday.

The team consists of county firefighters, to a wide variety of occupations including medics, physicians, and engineers.

They were loading trucks in their warehouse on Tuesday.

"The crews are getting their families prepared for their absence," says Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Pete Piringer.

Piringer says they are actively awaiting a call from FEMA to deploy.

"The trucks are loaded, the personnel are getting mentally prepared, coming in making sure they got an extra pair of socks," he says. "They just like to get to work and help people, that’s what they do."

Shaw says the absolute best way people can help in the Hurricane Harvey aftermath is by donating financially through the Red Cross.

He expects volunteers to be in the area helping victims into the fall.

"They’re doing the best job they can do here," he says. "We will take care of each and every one of these clients until we are told to go home."