Local Red Cross volunteers head to Oklahoma to help tornado victims

Local Red Cross volunteers head to Oklahoma to help tornado victims
Photo provided by NBC33
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POSTED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 5:42pm

Volunteers with Red Cross chapters all across the south are on their way to Oklahoma tonight.

Ten people from the Baton Rouge area have already left to lend a hand, and more are expected to head out in the next few days.

One couple, Kathy and Clay Smilie packed their bags as soon as they heard about the tornado.

The pair has been volunteering with the Red Cross for almost two decades, and now, their help is needed more than ever.

A tornado, with winds speeds over 200 miles per hour, flattened neighborhoods in Moore, OK in a matter of minutes, leaving hundreds with nothing to their name.

"We’ve seen it before, but it doesn't make it any easier to see tornado damage another time," stated Clay.

That's where volunteers like Clay and Kathy come in and help those in need.

“We can feed several hundred people on a single run," said Kathy.

As they head up to any disaster site, including the town of Moore, they never know exactly what to expect.

“Sometimes, we’ll stay in gyms or in schools, sometimes hotels,” stated Clay. “You don’t know really until you are there on scene."

What the couple does know is that they are making a difference.

Five emergency vehicles headed out to Oklahoma this morning. The Red Cross already has shelters set up in Moore.

Volunteers like Kathy and Clay rely on donations to travel and spend weeks at a time at the disaster sites, so if you would like to donate, click here.

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