CHICAGO (FOX 32 NEWS) - Chicago-area relief agencies are scrambling to provide help to flood victims in texas, but getting people and supplies there isn’t easy.
That’s where the Salvation Army comes in
Major David Dalberg of the Salvation Army gave FOX 32 a tour of the Elk Grove Village warehouse that serves as the charity's emergency headquarters.
"We can go into the field and in a 24-hour period prepare between 4,000 and 5,000 meals in these units," Dalberg said.
For now, equipment and supplies will remain in Chicago until Salvation Army centers closer to Houston are depleted.
However, the agency is planning to send people, what they call an emotional and spiritual care team, volunteers trained in stress management.
"They will be available to wherever there is a gathering,” Dalberg said. “Without question shelters will be one focal point. But I'm anticipating over the next several days when people begin to start going home again that we will have team members out in communities to be available to go home with them to what is remaining of their houses."
Red Cross volunteer Valerie Anderson got on a Texas-bound plane today at O’Hare.
She said she was inspired to help after seeing the Red Cross in action during the disastrous floods in her home town of Fox Lake.
"In my own town I had a flood about a month and a half ago. And when I wasn't affected I wanted to help the others around me, my own neighbors. And I saw red cross one day was in the area and I thought that's the way that I can help,” Anderson said.
But with rain and flooding of unprecedented historic proportions, even the most experienced volunteers are wading into uncharted waters...
"How do you plan for something that you've not experienced before? All you can do is anticipate and give it your best show,” Dalberg said.
Dalberg said the Salvation Army will likely be in Houston for years. In fact he says they just recently finished up their operations in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall 12 years ago.