Oklahoma American Red Cross volunteers deployed to assist with Hurricane Harvey

American Red Cross

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma and Arkansas Region of the American Red Cross has deployed five vehicles to coastal areas that will be hit by Hurricane Harvey.

They are preparing the large response effort as Hurricane Harvey bears down on Texas and Louisiana. Everyone in the path of the storm is urged to get ready now.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Harvey could become a Category 3 hurricane by the time the storm makes landfall along the Gulf Coast Friday night.

It would be the first hurricane to strike Texas in almost nine years.

Each of the five emergency response vehicles, three from Arkansas, two from Oklahoma, will consist of a two person volunteer team.

More volunteers are on standby if needed.

Some areas could see as many as 30 inches of rain and winds as strong as 86 mph. Hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge warnings are already up in Texas, and several counties have issued voluntary evacuation orders for low lying areas.

More than 17 shelters are also ready to open.

Trailers full of shelter and relief supplies have been pre-positioned including cots, blankets, comfort and cleaning supplies.  And more than 30 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are activated with about 20 more on alert.

The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners in both Texas and Louisiana to coordinate potential response efforts.

Call 1-800-Red-Cross or go to RedCross.org to find out ways you can help.