FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Volunteers from the Northeast Indiana Chapter of the Red Cross are heading to the Gulf Coast to help with Hurricane Laura recovery efforts.
Six volunteers from the Northeast Indiana Chapter have been mobilized to aid in hurricane relief. Of those six, five volunteers will travel to the Gulf Coast to provide support as boots on the ground. The other volunteer will remain in northeast Indiana to provide virtual assistance.
Edward Glossett of Van Wert, Ohio is one of the five volunteers heading to the Gulf Coast. Glossett was scheduled to fly to Baton Rouge, LA earlier this week, but those flights were canceled due to weather. He is now awaiting a potential departure from Fort Wayne International Airport on Friday.
“I’ve been in every major hurricane since 2016. It’s humbling, it’s a lot of emotions you go through. That’s why you prepare before you go into it,” said Glossett.
Once in Louisiana, Glossett will begin to work a two week stretch of twelve hour days. He will have one day off in between.
“Right now it’s more focused on our sheltering for the evacuees. That’s where they can get food, regroup with their family that they made need to come in contact with,” said Glossett.
The American Red Cross provides disaster relief with volunteers on the ground helping those impacted. However, virtual assistance has become more common due to advances in technology.
“Most of the programs that we use are now all phone based, smart phone based, for disaster, disaster assessment, sheltering, reporting back and forth, so some of the management can be done virtually,” said Ron Menze, who is another volunteer from the Northeast Indiana Chapter of the Red Cross.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced new procedures for emergency response to ensure safety at disaster relief shelters.
“We screen before, we have an isolation tent. We have our dorms. Everything is CDC guidelines for their protection as well as ours as staff members,” said Glossett.
Glossett said that the volunteer programs provided by the Red Cross do a great job in preparing staff members for what they will see and do when working in disaster relief. Still, he said that the experience is always humbling.
“There is true devastation, but in all devastation you know you see that rainbow. You see a better community come together, you know neighbor loving neighbor, neighbor helping neighbor. You see a lot of good,” said Glossett.
To become an American Red Cross volunteer, click here.