Red Cross volunteers coming home from aiding in natural disasters across country
BRISTOL, Va. - Red Cross volunteers are returning home after their deployment to areas hard hit by natural disasters. They've been traveling all over the country aiding in relief efforts, from Texas, to Florida, to California. Now they're coming home. Linda Carmean has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross for five years. The first stop of her deployment was in San Antonio, Texas, in hurricane Harvey's aftermath.
"I was working at a shelter there. I was there for about a week, and then extra help was needed in Houston at the headquarters so I went there," says American Red Cross volunteer Linda Carmean.
She served as an emergency response vehicle coordinator, making sure food was being delivered to those in need. Her next stop-- Tampa, Florida, delivering meals to victims of hurricane Irma's wrath. After driving the emergency response vehicle cross-country to Seattle, followed by a short break, she was back on the road.
"The wildfires in California were occurring, so I flew out to Sacramento," Carmean says.
Stationed in Yuba City, she delivered emergency supplies to victims of the wildfires.
"Their houses were completely destroyed, nothing but really ashes," Carmean says.
Red Cross volunteer Rachel Brubaker has a similar story, she went on two separate deployments to Florida, where she saw areas devastated.
"Large piles of debris around the road, you could see rows and rows of refrigerators and stoves and things like that that are going to have to be replaced. They can't be reused," Brubaker says.
Brubaker was also sent to aid the victims of the California wildfires, where homeowners were finding piles of ashes where their house once stood.
"There's no warning in a wildfire. There's a little bit of a warning in a hurricane, but a lot of those people, their animals woke them up and they fled with their clothes and their car, so they lost...everything," Brubaker says.
Brubaker was deployed for about a month, and Carmean, two months. Dropping off the emergency response vehicle in Bristol is the last leg of their journey, as they're headed home for Ohio.