Georgia Power crews providing relief, Red Cross on standby

Locals providing hurricane relief efforts

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Disaster relief shelters provide heartwarming comfort to people devastated by natural disasters. Many times, the victims are left without the basic essentials such as food, water, clothes and a warm blanket.

Mitzi Oxford, Development Director of the local chapter of the American Red Cross says hundreds of trailers are already on-site along the Eastern Seaboard. She walked through the mobile unit pointing out important materials and tools volunteers use to bring comfort to those in need.

"There's a shelter management kit," Oxford said. "These are just some of the basics you would need in a shelter, trash bags, Kleenex."

Currently, there are about 70 volunteers in the Columbus area, according to Oxford. Less than half of them are on standby in the wake of Hurricane Sandy making landfall Monday night.

"About 30 of them are trained in all of those areas, mass care, mass feeding damage assessment, who could go if they get the call," recalled Oxford.

With 50 million people said to be in the super storm's direct path, another disaster relief vehicle called an Eve—Emergency Relief Vehicle— would be very beneficial since it's like a mobile kitchen that's set up to feed the masses. A side window on the truck also makes it very convenient to hand food and water while serving a large group of people.

Although no local Red Cross volunteers have been called to help out in the northeast, nearly 400 Georgia Power crews are in Baltimore restoring power outages.

"In daylight they work on power lines getting peoples power restored, work till dark, eat, go to sleep and wake up and do it again the next day. It's pretty rigorous on the crews," said Robert Watkins of Georgia Power.

The task is undoubtedly tough, but many willing make the sacrifice—giving their time and efforts to help bring relief to those who are hurting.

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