Connecticut American Red Cross volunteers help with Harvey relief efforts

Red Cross volunteers from Connecticut coordinate before leaving for Texas (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — American Red Cross volunteers met each other for the first time Monday. They packed the emergency disaster vehicle in Farmington full of food and supplies to help with relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey.

redcross Connecticut American Red Cross volunteers help with Harvey relief efforts
A Red Cross Disaster Relief van is packed with supplies for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

Mike Johnson said the supplies included, “some water and some snacks.” They also talked about the best way to get to where they’ll be stationed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Jim Roscoe added, “At this point, we get to check-in and decide whether or not we go further west. I don’t know where the storms going to be.”

redcross2 Connecticut American Red Cross volunteers help with Harvey relief efforts
Bottled water is one of the many supplies Red Cross volunteers are bringing for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

It will take them two days to reach their destination. Roscoe added, “It’s about 22 hours of driving just to get to Baton Rouge; and so far the roads and highways are clear between here and there.”

Johnson has been with the American Red Cross for three years. This is his first deployment. The Red Cross helped him and his family during storms. He said now it’s his opportunity to give back.

redcross4 Connecticut American Red Cross volunteers help with Harvey relief efforts
Connecticut Red Cross volunteers leave Farmington to head south for Hurricane Harvey Relied (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

Johnson said, “We went to a shower and got fed and it was pretty organized; and it was great to have a shower and a meal and know that people care. The emergency disaster vehicle can help with mass feeding events. The vehicle can also hold hot food.

Roscoe added, “This one will be equipped for serving 400 to 500 meals at a time.” The vehicle is being stationed in Baton Rouge. It is as close as they can get to Houston.

Roscoe said, “It is that four hours on a typical drive from Baton Rouge to Houston which is problematic. Interstates are flooded, side roads are flooded. Traffic is at a standstill in some areas if it is moving at all.”

Roscoe added he is always ready to help. He’s been with the Red Cross for eight years, and assisted in past disasters. Roscoe said, “I do it because I can. I’m healthy and a lot of support from the family at home and it is nice to be able to give back in this way.”

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