Local Red Cross helping out with Hurricane Isaac - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Local Red Cross helping out with Hurricane Isaac

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(08/28/12) - Anxious Gulf Coast residents are battening down the hatches as Hurricane Isaac approaches. Red Cross disaster relief teams have been sent out and more are standing by, including some from right here in Mid-Michigan. Eleven volunteers are already converging on Hurricane Isaac, ready to give assistance to residents affected by this storm.

Mid-Michigan Red Cross volunteers are closely monitoring events in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Isaac takes aim on the same area devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "It's difficult getting people down there in the beginning, because again, you're always guessing on the storm track, and then the storm then does what it's going to do when you're always in the wrong place. But, at least we're close," says Dick Beauchamp, a local Red Cross disaster volunteer coordinator.

Another volunteer, Marjorie Robinson, just got the call to head down to the Gulf Coast. A veteran of 14 disasters, including Katrina, Robinson will work as a coordinator between the Red Cross and local communities affected by Isaac. "I go into that community, see what those people's needs are, and then I go to churches and local organizations and see what they have to help the people I've already worked with."

As Red Cross volunteers know all too well, in any disaster, there is physical damage and there's also an emotional toll on victims - a toll that could be higher than usual in this case.

"Having another disaster hit on the same day of a previous disaster is probably going to make some people have a lot of anxiety and nervousness about this happening again," says Carole Beauchamp, a mental health volunteer with 14 years of experience dealing with disasters.

Dick Beauchamp, Carole's husband adds, "We're hoping it's not as bad. We've all heard on the news that the levees have been reinforced, new procedures have been put in place. We'll see how well everything works."

Hurricane Isaac is expected to make landfall either late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday.

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