NEPA Red Cross Responding to Texas/Oklahoma

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Several American Red Cross workers and volunteers from northeastern Pennsylvania are either already on the ground or are in the process of heading to both Texas and Oklahoma to help disaster victims.

One volunteer left Thursday after noon from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

Another flew out of the airport at 5:15 PM. Rachelle Wood, a senior disaster program manager for the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania arrived at the airport just after 4:30 PM.

She is headed to Oklahoma City where she will help in tornado and flood recovery efforts.

“I think this is why I am with the Red Cross, I’m there to help people this is why I put time into training and learning new things and this allows me to actually go out there and do that, use my skills and help the people,” Wood said.

As the nation watches the scenes play out of flooding in Texas and tornado damage in Oklahoma, Wood, who has previous experience in helping out in national disasters like Hurricane Katrina believes those previous experiences will help her comfort people.

Wood is the second American Red Cross worker to leave Thursday alone.

Bob Abbott, a volunteer who lives in Taylor has been on national deployments four times before.

“I like to help people out, to be there for them, comfort them in their time of need,” Abbott said.

Abbott expects to help with the distribution of supplies to help people who have lost everything.

The volunteers are typically on the ground for two or three weeks.

“We have to just take it step-by-step to see how everything is going to work out with everything on in that area,” Abbott said.

A third woman from northeastern Pennsylvania, a woman from Lake Ariel, has already been on the ground in Houston since the weekend.

At least five other workers and volunteers from the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia-area are also headed to the south to assist in disaster efforts.

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