SACRAMENTO, CA - Time was of the essence.
"We need to get there now, before the storm hits," Sacramento Red Cross spokesperson Kathleen Weis said. "Airports and airplanes will be canceling and closing. The storm is expected to affect multiple states so we need to be ready for power outages, flooding and whatever else comes our way."
Three 6-person teams of volunteers gathered with suitcases in tow at the Sacramento Red Cross Headquarters. Two of the teams were heading to White Plains, New York, and one to Baltimore. Their job will be to help set up and run shelters for those displaced by the storm.
Volunteers who agree to the assignment face a minimum of three weeks away from home, but despite the hardships and uncertainty they face, when it's all over, they said, it's well worth going.
"When you get to the end, you're tired, you're exhausted, you're emotionally spent, but you know when you get that hug from a little kid or from a family, a thank you when you hand them a meal or a bottle of water, it's very rewarding!" volunteer Tami Martin said.
By Jonathan Mumm, firstname.lastname@example.org