• Houstonians head to East Coast to assist in Hurricane Florence response

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    HOUSTON – As our East Coast neighbors wait on Hurricane Florence with bated breath, Houstonians are right there with them. Volunteers with the American Red Cross and Salvation Army have begun deploying to South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

    Kelly Peters, with the American Red Cross is one of them.

    “Lots of hugs… some tears. The tears are the hard,” said Peters.

    This will be Peters’ 10th time deploying to a disaster zone this year.

    “Quite a few people from across the country, who came to help us, when we go out… we always tell them, ‘it’s our turn to help you.’”

    However, Ekland Durousseua, regional communication manager for the American Red Cross, says things are a little different this time around because of a storm brewing in the Gulf this week, too. 

    “We are not sending any of our emergency response vehicle teams or vehicles to those areas, which is a little bit unusual,” Durousseua explained.

    “Because we may have something, kind of growing in the Gulf, we want to hold back on those resources just to take stock of what’s happening here.” The Mid-Atlantic states have also asked Houston’s Sun Coast Resources, Inc. to send help, too. “Sun Coast Resources, Inc. is a lifeline to people who need emergency fueling supplies to operate generators,” explained Steven Boyd, senior managing director with Sun Coast.

    “It looks like that Category 4 Hurricane Florence is going to really wreak havoc in that area. “Hospitals typically can’t operate if they don’t have generators. First responders, if they don’t have fuel for their equipment, are in trouble.

    ” According to Boyd, at least 55 trucks will deploy to Virginia and the Carolinas. The fuel is also used to power hotels and big box stores. Just as the American Red Cross is also keeping an eye on the Gulf this week, Boyd says Sun Coast is also fielding calls about providing emergency fuel to Texas, if necessary.

    “It’s double duty. We are taking calls right now from people who are concerned about what’s going to happen, just a short year after Harvey impacted this area.” The American Red Cross is always asking for monetary donations which provide life-saving resources during a disaster.  To donate, visit the American Red Cross website.  © 2018 KHOU

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