DENVER (KDVR) — Red Cross volunteers from both Colorado and Wyoming are now stationed in Louisiana where Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the hardest. Crews are spending the night in hotels, preparing for a busy day Monday.
FOX31 spoke with a Red Cross volunteer stationed in Baton Rouge, waiting to move at any moment. With just 12 hours notice, Andrea Carlson with the Colorado Red Cross, packed her bags and left from Denver International Airport prepared to help in any way possible.
“They told us at some point the building might shake a bit tonight, so it’s trying to wrap your head around all that,” said Carlson. “There is some anxiety about what’s going to happen tonight, some folks tell me it’s like a tornado, but we will see. We have prepared and planned for anything and we are in a safe spot. There just might not a lot of sleep tonight.”
After a restless night, Colorado Red Cross volunteers will use their disaster experience and training from back home in the coming days.
“Colorado has this great group; they have been around for a long time,” said Carlson from her hotel room. “It makes you feel good knowing that when something happens in Colorado like our wildfires last year or any disaster we see back at home, we have this incredible team that’s prepared, ready to go, and are appreciated across the country for the work they can do.”
The volunteers took their support to where it’s needed most on Sunday night, providing food, water, and shelter to families already seeking refuge. There is physical and mental help that’s offered too.
“It’s never a good day when you are no longer in your home and you don’t know what you’re going to come home to,” added Carlson. “We do everything we can to bring smiles and make people laugh.”
Currently, there are 12 volunteers stationed in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, with that number expected to grow. Their deployment could last anywhere between 14 to 21 days, but could be longer if damage in Louisiana is extensive.