Michigan Red Cross volunteers head to Gulf Coast for Isaac relief

Red Cross continues to deploy volunteers to assist with tropical storm Isaac relief


As an American Red Cross volunteer, Neil Todd has assisted with fire and tornado relief.

His next assignment will be like nothing he has ever covered.

"Yeah, we anticipated the call. We talked about it the last couple of days, that I would probably get a call," Todd said.

The call is an order to head to the Gulf Coast where tropical storm Isaac is on track to reach hurricane strength and cause serious damage.

Todd and a partner will the road in a special relief vehicle Tuesday morning.

"It's a vehicle equipped to serve hot meals and beverages," Todd said. "We can either be in a fixed location or drive through neighborhoods and distribute meals."

As the storm eerily follows hurricane Katrina's track from seven years ago, several states have issued emergency evacuations.

Where Todd will set up shop changes by the minute.

"I'm not sure where I'm going to end up. I know, starting out in Tallahassee and now they're saying Mississippi. At least, that's going to be the point as of now. But that could change before we get there," he said.

On Friday, the local Red Cross chapter deployed nine volunteers. Todd will bring that number to 27. All that matters is more help is on the way.

"You know that people need things and you know they're in need and you're capable of doing it ... and someone has to do it," he said.

More than 1,000 volunteers from across the country are scattered across the Gulf Coast. They are providing meals, shelter and relief supplies to those in need. Deployments can typically last three weeks. Depending on how bad it gets, it may be a while longer before local volunteers return home.

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