SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Volunteers from across Central New York are making their way to Texas to help those impacted by storm Harvey.
A van from the American Red Cross pulled out of Syracuse on Monday morning, heading for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Volunteers will meet with hundreds of others from around the country to come up with a plan before heading to flooded cities in Texas.
"This is a massive response. Obviously the Red Cross there can't handle all of this. So what they do is they ask the national organization to bring people from all over the country. So, the vehicle that left today is one of more than 150 throughout the country. It's more than half the national fleet will be going to that impacted area, because that's where the greatest need is," says Dan Hartman of the Red Cross.
Some volunteers made it to Houston and neighboring areas before roads and airports shut down.
They are already on the front lines-- as of Sunday night, they had 1,800 victims in 34 shelters throughout Texas. That's a number they expect will keep growing.
It's a major coordinated effort and they're working with other disaster relief organizations to help as many people as possible.
"Our top volunteers are very well trained in mass care, sheltering, feeding. They partner with other agencies on the ground to make sure that pets are taken care of, we mobilize our fleet to do bulk distribution of supplies, flood kits," adds Rosie Taravella of the Red Cross, "We partner with the Salvation Army to make sure folks are being fed."
She adds that the Red Cross is looking for 4,000 total volunteers to help in Texas. They have 1,200 there right now.
You can visit RedCross.Org for more on how to volunteer.
To donate, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999.
The Salvation Army is also taking part in the relief efforts.
Donations can be made online through www.helpsalvationarmy.org or by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Donation links will also be sent to people who text STORM TO 51555.
Anyone who prefers mailing checks should designate 'Hurricane Harvey' on those checks.
They can be mailed to:
The Salvation Army
PO BOX 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301
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