GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If coast emergency managers need disaster assistance, the Red Cross is ready to put volunteers on the ground and mobile response units on the road. The organization made some last-minute preparations Wednesday before the rain pours.
Volunteers started showing up at the Red Cross office in Gulfport, ready to get to work.
"We got to do what we got to do to make sure people are safe," one volunteer said.
"Many people have called in and said they're ready to go. So that's always great," said Red Cross Disaster Services Volunteer Gloria Harlan.
Shelliah Seals drove in from Hattiesburg. If a shelter opens up, she will help run it.
"I came through Florida Monday and I came through some of the bad weather, the rain. I'm needed. I got to go. That's my family," said Seals, referring to her Red Cross family.
Also on standby are logistics, disaster assessment, feeding and disaster workforce teams.
"It's actually very rewarding. We've worked very hard over the last couple of years and really trying to build up our volunteer teams. So it's nice to see our volunteers start to come in and really take control of the situation," said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Angie Grajeda.
Emergency response vehicles must also be ready to roll. Larry Stewart spent the day giving one ERV a complete inspection. Five ERVs are immediately available for mobile feedings or bulk distributions, like cleaning kits and water. And about 30-volunteers are packed and prepared to mobilize within two-hours notice.
"I love doing it. It's like opening a present. You be so happy that you're helping," said Seals.
The Red Cross has additional volunteers and ERVs available from across the state.