With soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac headed to the Gulf Coast, American Red Cross representatives from here in Arizona are on their way out to help.
"We learned from Katrina that you have to be ready, you have to be out there, and you have to be quick. And that's why we're not waiting for Isaac to hit, we're sending people out now," said Brian Gomez of the American Red Cross (local chapter).
Although Isaac isn't forecast to be anywhere near as strong as Katrina, the Red Cross said it doesn't matter because lives could still be at stake and people will still need help.
Tom Jacobs of Flagstaff is a volunteer who worked the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That was his first assignment with the Red Cross. Today, he's headed back.
"Just coincidentally, now seven years almost to the day, I'm going back to the same place, Montgomery, AL, where tomorrow morning I'll be assigned to another evacuation center," Jacobs said.
Besides Katrina, Jacobs has worked for the Red Cross following hurricanes Irene, Ike and Ernesto. His most recent assignment was working the devastating wildfires in Colorado. He said he does this work because it simply feels good.
"It's the handshakes, the hugs, sometimes the tears. At the end of your assignment, it's the cards or the drawings that children make and give you to say thanks," Jacobs said.
The Red Cross said that the best way for you to help is to volunteer, or make a donation.
"I wouldn't be going to Alabama today, none of us would be doing what we're doing, we wouldn't be able to provide these services if it weren't for our great donors who support what we do and the services we provide," Jacobs added.
To make a donation to our local Red Cross, CLICK HERE.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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