Oklahoma Red Cross volunteers head to Gulf Coast in anticipation of Hurricane Laura

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TEXAS (KFOR) – Red Cross volunteers from Oklahoma and Kansas are heading to the Gulf Coast in anticipation of Hurricane Laura.

The National Weather Service says Laura is expected to develop into a major hurricane before it makes landfall along the Texas and Louisiana coast, according to a Red Cross news release.

Twenty-eight volunteers and staff from the Kansas and Oklahoma Red Cross were deployed as of 2 p.m. to help with the hurricane response.

The response team includes at least one person from each of the region’s seven local chapters, the news release states.

More Oklahoma and Kansas Red Cross volunteers could be deployed as the situation unfolds. The Red Cross anticipates sending more than 700 volunteers and staff from across the nation to help with disaster preparedness and recovery, according to the news release.

“We have sent several volunteers from Kansas and Oklahoma to help along the Gulf Coast and we anticipate more will be needed,” said Brittney Rochell, Regional Chief Communications Officer for American Red Cross of Kansas-Oklahoma. “COVID-19 has affected the number of our current volunteers who are available to deploy, so we are asking healthy individuals who can deploy up to 14 days to consider joining us as a temporary disaster volunteer.”

Deployed volunteers and staff will help provide critical services, including staffing shelters and assisting other agencies in providing food and needed supplies, the news release states.

Staff and volunteers have also been deployed virtually to help with behind-the-scene support work.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not deterring the Red Cross in its mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering, it is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health authorities, as well as implementing additional precautions.

Such measures include face coverings, health screenings and opening more shelters to reduce the number of people within a single shelter, according to the news release.

Click here to learn more about how you can volunteer with the Red Cross.

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