Volunteers will help with whatever efforts are needed, including giving out meals.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As reports of damage from Hurricane Ida emerge, volunteers are expecting to be there for weeks to help with recovery efforts.

Right now, about 80 members of the Pennsylvania Task Force One are in Alabama waiting for orders. They haven’t seen the damage yet but are preparing for the worst. In the past, some of their work involved going door-to-door to find people in their homes.

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“The devastation is different sometimes than what you see on TV. Just being able to see it in person puts it in a different perspective,” Hazmat Specialist Anthony Henry said.

He’s been deployed multiple times and said helping others keeps him motivated.

“Sometimes when you’re down in the dumps, it gives you that little extra push to keep going,” Henry said over Zoom.

They are usually deployed for about 10 to 14 days. The Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania has 16 volunteers down in the Gulf Coast and three Emergency Response Vehicles en route. They should be there by Wednesday.

“All of our volunteers that were propositioned along the Gulf Coast did shelter in place just for safety and readiness to respond as soon as this morning,” Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania Spokesperson Lisa Landis said.

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Volunteers will be helping with whatever efforts are needed, including giving out meals. They get deployed for about two weeks but expect more volunteers to be sent down.

“As the impact of Ida is realized and we have a better idea of what the scope and size of it is, we’ll continue to deploy more folks not just here from Pennsylvania but across the country,” Landis said.

This has been a busy year with wildfires out west, flooding in Tennessee, the earthquake in Haiti and now Hurricane Ida.

“This has seemed to be non-stop,” Landis said.

The Red Cross has about 4,500 volunteers in the Greater Pennsylvania Region.

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