Volunteers from the local chapter of the American Red Cross prepare to head south. They call their departure 'nerve racking' and 'exciting.' Each has helped during some of the nations biggest disasters over the last decade. They may not know what their exact duties are until they arrive, but tomorrow morning they will be prepared and ready to go.
"I'm just putting my hand radio in here, in safe place. I want to have it with me," says Stan Scott. He makes sure he has everything packed. In the morning he will fly to Pensacola, Florida to help with disaster relief. "I'll take my computer, my phone, and I started taking my hand radio," says Scott.
The retired Apollo High School teacher says he began volunteering after being on the other side of giving back. "Our house was hit in a tornado." Scott says it was after a tornado destroyed his home that he decided to become a volunteer for the Red Cross. "I remember how much I appreciated that meal, that hot meal, when we were out here trying to put our house back together."
Scott says this will be his fifth deployment, and it wont be his last. "What gets you going back, is the responds you get when you're providing assistance to people," says Scott.
"Since I cant run into buildings anymore, I can help them on the outside." Finding a way to continue helping others, retired fire fighter Donald Day says being a volunteer has had him deploying for disasters more than ten times. Tomorrow Day will leave for Little Rock, Arkansas "You've got to go with an open mind because you don't know what you are going to walk into. I don't know what I'm going to see or walk into," says Day.
They will leave their homes to help, but remind those back home can help as well. "What we do is all volunteer work, and all of the donation that people send in for the disasters pays for me to keep this shirt on to go out and help people."
They each prepare in their different ways, but both return with the same feeling. "When you get down there and you get the smiles and the thank you's, that is well payment for what we do," says Day. "Its just a good feeling you get," says Scott.
The Red Cross is implementing a nationwide "call to action" in response to the devastation from the storms and floods. If you'd like to help, text the word 'Red Cross' to 90-999 to make a ten dollar donation. You can also call the toll free Red Cross number, or visit Red Cross.org to make a donation.