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Local Red Cross prepares to balance relief efforts in Texas and Florida

Red Cross prepares to balance relief efforts
Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 07:07:13-04

CINCINNATI -- The threat of another major hurricane hitting the U.S. has the local Red Cross scrambling to balance the needs of Texas and Florida.

At the Cincinnati Disaster Relief Headquarters, disaster responders were busy but encouraged by the calls they were getting from people wanting to help.

"It's a big challenge for us," Christina Curtis said. "We've got a big monster of a hurricane headed our way and we're not sure if it's going to go up the East Coast or back into the Gulf."

In the meantime, Curtis is getting a long list of new recruits ready.

"We're telling people that we're going to either Texas or Orlando," she said.

Anderson Township native Laura Kunz now lives in Jupiter, Florida. She said Tuesday was the day it sunk in that she better stock up on ice and bare essentials before Hurricane Irma hits.

"I realized I better fill my car with gas," she said. "And I pull up, and the line is all the way down the road ... I imagine within the next 24 hours, we're all going to start putting up our storm shutters and prepare."

Curtis said the biggest need is mass care with shelting and distribution of emergency supplies.

"It makes me feel really good that our local people are really coming on board and answering the call," Curtis said. "We still have a lot of positions that are open, so we encourage everyone to come out."

Greater Cincinnati resident Lisa Herzog is currently in Houston with the local American Red Cross chapter. She asked to extend her time down there another week.

"The need here is so great that I felt the need to extend my time," she said. "Seeing and speaking with the families dealing with such devastation is all the motivation that's needed."

The Red Cross still needs people and will train them. Anyone interested can visit redcross.org or call 1-800-733-2767.