Local organizations prepare hurricane relief efforts

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Hoosier relief organizations are ready to send help to those affected by Hurricane Michael. But right now, they’re basically stuck in a holding pattern until they get a clearer picture of how bad the damage is and where it’s happening.

Several local organizations know they’ll be committed for a while once they get the call to deploy.

“We’re there as long as we’re needed,” said John Whitaker, executive director of the Midwest Food Bank. That organization is a first responder for the Salvation Army and Whitaker expects their services to be called up soon.

“Our trucks will be called out, and we have to be there twenty-four hours from the time they call us to the time they hit the affected area,” said Whitaker.

But until the extent of the damage is known, it’s not efficient to deploy people and supplies just yet. Despite that, other organizations are also prepping to move out.

“Emergency response vehicles will be definitely heading down, definitely disaster relief supplies, and of course, people to help support the relief of the disaster at hand,” said Duchess Adjei of the American Red Cross of Indiana.

Duke energy already has teams on the road.

“They’ll bed down and then complete their trip tomorrow and they’ll be told then where exactly this equipment needs to go,” said Duke Energy spokesman Lew Middleton.

All of this coming on the heels of Hurricane Florence, where local resources are still in deployment.

“It’s very taxing when you have these back to back events,” said Whitaker, “it’s difficult to rebound.”

Part of that rebound, officials say, comes from you. Both the Red Cross and the Midwest Food Bank are asking for financial donations to help.

“When you give us a dollar, we can send forty dollars-worth of relief to the affected area,” said Whitaker, “that’s really good leverage.”

Additionally, the Red Cross says there’s still time for people looking to get trained to lend a hand in person.

For more information on how you can donate money or sign up to get trained as a volunteer, check of the websites for the Red Cross of Indiana and the Midwest Food Bank.


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