Here's what the Red Cross really needs to help Harvey's victims

- You may be watching the stories about flooding in South Texas and feeling helpless. But the American Red Cross said there really is a lot you can do to help no matter where you are.

What exactly does the Red Cross need?

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Barker said some Red Cross members are responding as their own homes are flooding. It’s been absolutely heartbreaking.

“So really we are trying to get everyone a safe shelter right now, a safe place to stay,” she said. “Honestly we have been so overwhelmed with generosity in items that the quickest way we can be impactful is to make a donation.”

Donations can be made on or by texting 90999 and typing Harvey. That gives a $10 donation. Information about volunteer opportunities is also available at

What will Red Cross do with my money?

“We stretch that money as far as we can,” Barker said.

She showed off an example of some of the items evacuees are given when they arrive at shelters such as cots, blankets and cleaning supplies – brooms, mops, gloves and more.

“This cleaning kit is actually able to in the future as folks get back home… it’s a start,” she said.

Are more volunteers needed?

The Red Cross is used to coming in after a disaster and helping with the recovery efforts. But it’s different this time because there hasn’t been an end to the event yet.

“You know, this is… I’ve been with the Red Cross 10 years now and I’ve not seen a response like this just because of how long this event is going on,” Barker said. “This is going to be going on for weeks and months. We’ll have folks in shelters. We need to be able to help them.”

A lot of people want to volunteer right now but the Red Cross is going to need volunteers for the long haul.

“We’re going to need so many people as we go on in the future. We’ve got folks now who are just coming who have been working nonstop. So we’re going to need to be able to train and replace them,” Barker said.

HOW TO HELP: Texans and Hurricane Harvey

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