Allentown Red Cross trains volunteers to help during disasters

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Sunday, September 16, 2018
Allentown Red Cross trains volunteers to help during disasters
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Allentown Red Cross trains volunteers to help during disasters. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 10:30 p.m. on September 15, 2018.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Saturday was a training day for forty people who have been compelled to help the victims of Hurricane Florence.

They, like the rest of the country, have watched Florence batter and soak the southeastern seaboard.

They came to the Red Cross Chapter in Allentown to learn how to make a difference.

Red Cross Executive Director Peter Brown of the Lehigh Valley said, "To see how people care for each other people here have volunteered now to help people in North and South Carolina they've never met."

Brown told us their phones were ringing off the hook this week.

So they offered a volunteer beginners course and almost four dozen people showed up.

He says soon the new volunteers could be deployed.

"The people in those affected areas really get an emotional lift from seeing people from all over the county willing to donate their time and resources and money," said Brown.

Brown says around 35 volunteers from the Lehigh Valley have already left.

And we met one more leaving on Monday.

She's Lori Ayers, Red Cross volunteer, and a mental health specialist.

Ayers says the whole reason she began volunteering was having to live through Super Storm Sandy.

"The Red Cross came around the corner and provided us assistance and I really couldn't believe people that didn't live in our neighborhood came to help us," she said.

Along with sending volunteers, Brown says they're also prepared to send a mobile unit.

They can load it up with water and a lot of hot food.

He knows they both will be needed after Florence.

"Last fall when I was in Texas, some drives that would normally take a half hour, took 3 hours because of detours so it's almost impossible for a lot of people in those types of neighborhoods to access food," Brown said.

The Red Cross again says during times like this, they always need more help whether it's volunteers to operate out of a truck like this or money everything is so important.

For more information on how you can get involved, click here.


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