Louisiana volunteers prepare to help Arkansas tornado victims

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- When a disaster strikes, the Salvation Army and American Red Cross mobilize.

Volunteers in New Orleans are preparing to give aid and assistance as victims of powerful tornadoes dig out in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

One local Red Cross worker will soon hit the highway.

"In southeast Louisiana, right now we have a volunteer that is preparing to deploy to help with health services," said Red Cross spokeswoman Melissa Eugene.

More are ready to move out on a moment's notice.

"Certainly as the days and weeks go on, we may get the call to deploy more volunteers, and our volunteers are on standby and ready to go if needed," Eugene said.

Salvation Army trucks and trailers in New Orleans are also packed and ready to go.

"We'll be taking water and food, we'll be taking manpower up there and cleaning kits, things of that nature," said Salvation Army Commander Major D.W. Owens. "They'll also have a warehouse set up some place, so if we need anything else to be able to distribute, they'll give that to us as well."

The Salvation Army is waiting for word on the exact location they are needed in the tornado strike zone.

"It will probably happen within this week," said Owens. "They'll probably let us know exactly where they want us to go. We stay in a constant state of preparedness."

If you want to help the victims of the recent tornadoes, both the Red Cross and Salvation Army recommend that you make a monetary donation to the disaster relief funds listed on each agency's official websites.

"The gifts in kind such as clothes and stuff is very hard logistically to give it to somebody who doesn't have a house to live in," said Owens. "The monetary donations help us to buy gift cards and the supplies they will need on the spot."

"The Red Cross is not able to sort and clean and take care of many items," said Eugene. "We also like to help the economy in the areas that have been impacted by a disaster."

A spokesman for the Governor's Office Of Homeland Security said so far there have been no formal requests for National Guard troops or any other government assistance from Louisiana.

Click here for more info on Red Cross and on the Salvation Army.

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