WILLIAMSBURG — As floodwater soaks southeastern Texas, a Red Cross volunteer from Virginia is rushing to help those in need.
Lisa Phee, a Williamsburg retiree and six-year veteran of the Red Cross, traveled to the Lone Star State on Friday to assist in the relief effort as a Red Cross emergency response vehicle (ERV) driver in Austin.
Torrential rains and flooding has plagued Texas since April. The flooding has killed 11 people, including five Army soldiers stationed at Fort Hood on Thursday, who died during a training exercise in a flooded area when their vehicle overturned in the floodwater, according to The Weather Channel.
On Friday, Phee was flying through Charlotte to Austin alone. Once she arrives in Austin, she will be assigned to an ERV team operating in areas of the city impacted by flooding.
During a phone interview while she sat in the airport, Phee described the ERV as similar in appearance to an ambulance but instead of packing life-saving medical equipment and personnel, the vehicle operates as a mobile food station and carries cleaning supplies to areas in need.
Phee said in order to operate an ERV, volunteers must complete online and on-site training at Red Cross facilities. The training includes food handing instruction and test driving the vehicle, she said.
Red Cross volunteers interested in out-of-state disaster response deployments provide their availability and are contacted as they are needed, Phee said.
Phee has served out-of-state deployments in Florida and Mississippi during her time in the Red Cross, she said.
Phee is one of several Virginians taking part in the Red Cross relief effort in Texas, according to a Red Cross press release. Phee will serve in Texas for the next two weeks, she said.
Jacobs can be reached by phone at 804-269-1769.
How to help
For more information about how to help the Red Cross: visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text TXFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.