Central Texans gear up to assist East Coast with Hurricane Dorian

In an effort to help our east coast neighbors brace for Hurricane Dorian, dozens of central Texans ranging from the Red Cross to Austin Energy are heading their way to help. 

“Right now, we are being deployed to Jacksonville, Florida,” Jeff Bradford with Austin Energy said. “We are going to assist Jacksonville Electric Authority.”

Twenty-seven Austin Energy employees are on their way to help those deal with potential damage from the already destructive Hurricane Dorian. 

“They're going to be restoring the electrical infrastructure depending on the damage this hurricane brings,” said Bradford. 

According to Bradford, this isn't the first time they have helped this area regain power after a hurricane. Two years ago, they were in Jacksonville assisting with Hurricane Irma. 

“They were happy with the work we provided and how safe our crews were,” Bradford said. “I have no doubt that if Austin were to be impacted any way shape or form these same utilities would be helping us out.”

Austin Energy isn't the only group sending help. ATCEMS announced via Twitter they are sending two special operations rescue medics who will be assisting Texas Task Force 1. The local American Red Cross chapter said they are sending ten volunteers. 

“Nine are in Florida and one is in South Carolina,” Anthony Braddy with the Red Cross said. “We've also deployed one emergency response vehicle to assist as well.”

Braddy said they will be focusing their efforts on setting up and maintaining emergency shelters. 

“Right now, there is an estimated 60,000 people that are in the path of the hurricane who may need a shelter,” said Braddy.

If things do take a turn with the storm, Braddy said they're ready to send more volunteers including himself if needed. 

“We have a large volunteer organization, once we are able to assess how things are going to be after the hurricane makes landfall then we will adjust our resources accordingly to those affected areas,” said Braddy. 

Braddy said when disaster strikes, it's important to act as quickly as possible in order to help those in need.

The Salvation Army in Texas has volunteers on standby ready to go assist with mobile kitchens to help provide food.