Local Volunteers Prep For Hurricane

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- The Knoxville Red Cross is taking a proactive approach to Hurricane Dean's possible US landfall.

We caught up with the disaster volunteers just before they left for Little Rock, Arkansas this morning.

"It's a job that we know we have to do," said Helen who Volunteers with the Red Cross." We're anxious to get there."

Helen and her husband are crossing their T's and dotting their I's on a lot of paperwork before they hit the road for Little Rock, Arkansas...

"We're going to be staging so that when it hits, we're prepared," she said.

But why Arkansas when models indicate Hurricane Dean could go anywhere from Texas to Mexico?

"If it were to turn and go toward the gulf, we want the flexibility of being in a place like Little Rock, where we can go straight south into Louisiana or over into Texas, to be able to respond as fast as possible," said Chris Davis, spokesman for the Knoxville Red Cross.

Davis spent part of the morning inspecting the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle before the nearly eight hour drive.

"We're going to load it up with supplies that range from basically food and drink," he said.

That way the couple will be able to hit the ground running, whatever the need may be.

"We know things change by the minute," Helen said. "We know that we won't know what's going on until we get there and we will take it in stride."

Helen and her husband have been married for 46 years and volunteering with the the Red Cross for the last seven.

"Two people can make a big difference," she said. "People that are affected are very grateful for whatever help we can give."

"Without those two people from here and two people from there and two people from everywhere else, the response is probably not going to be as good," Davis said.

So the couple's off ready to touch lives and looking forward to the smiles they'll receive in return...

"When they take their meal and they say thank you and we know that they really needed it," Helen said.

If Hurricane Dean hits Mexico, the couple could be back in just a few days, but if it lands in the states, they could be gone for as long as three weeks.

If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross, you can click on the link below.

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