MIDLAND, Texas- Even though Ida is far from West Texas, the Permian Basin American Red Cross chapter is important to the regional relief effort.
People in Louisiana who had to leave their homes are expected to seek shelter in East Texas cities such as Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.
“We are opening shelters in Texas knowing that the people will come here,” said Tracy Austin, the executive director of the Permian Basin American Red Cross chapter.
“Once we know something’s imminent, then we start to accelerate those conversations and really start to talk about the detailed work of where the shelters will be what kind of resources will be needed those kinds of things.”
Getting volunteers to travel and help set up shelters is only one part of the chapter’s job. Their trainers are holding virtual sessions to teach people the skills to be a shelter worker.
“A lot of people decide at the last minute that they want to volunteer which is fantastic, but they have to have some training to do that and we have to run background checks and all of that,” said Austin.
The Permian basin chapter only has two employees.
The rest are volunteers.
But with a chapter covering 23 counties, they know the people of West Texas will always step up to help.
“We’re really fortunate to have a robust volunteer base who care about people and that’s the thing I love about this area. Everyone in Midland/Odessa, you can tell me that they care about people.”
To volunteer go to redcross.org/volunteertoday or to donate text IDA to 90999 to donate ten dollars to the relief effort.