FAIRFIELD, N.J. — Two vans worth of Red Cross volunteers in New Jersey on Tuesday were getting the last of their disaster supplies safely stowed away and are ready to roll with a team bound for Texas.
Like half of the nation's fleet of support vans, they are going to aid the hundreds of thousands who are in desperate need of everything as Harvey continues to dump feet of rain and destroy much in its path.
These versatile trucks can serve up to 800 hot meals at one time and be fitted out to provide home cleaning supplies and personal care kits. Volunteers know the people they serve will be struggling with the most basic needs.
The teams commit to doing two weeks on the front lines of disaster, but many volunteers will stay much longer depending on the needs of the community they go into.
With news of some shelters being filled well beyond their capacity, volunteers know just how vital food, water and the most basic supplies really are.
A husband wife team deploying from Westchester described what they expect to see when they get to Houston.
"A lot of times, once we get to people they haven't eaten hot meals in three to four days," said Brian, from Thornwood.
He and his wife Linda are both retired and feel the need to help those who need it most.
Lynda Joly, also a volunteer put it this way: "Those people down there, they need our help. It’s essential."
The Red Cross is still accepting new volunteers and can train them and get them deployed to Texas. They will be ready to support some 52,000 displaced residents.
"It’s amazing, moving, touching. The best of human beings being is expressed in this kind of circumstances," said Gladys Colon, a volunteer from Nevada.