Local American Red Cross volunteers are officially on standby, waiting to get the call to go west to help flood victims.
More than 250 Red Cross disaster relief workers are already deployed to Colorado, along with more than 20 emergency response vehicles and six supply trucks. Only one volunteer from Tennessee has been sent to the flooded areas, but a larger deployment is expected this week.
"We've got several volunteers that are kind of on standby, awaiting to see if there are positions that open up that they fit and that they could go and deploy for those positions," said Beth Toll, American Red Cross Regional Director of Communications for the Tennessee Volunteer Region.
The Red Cross has set up 24 shelters in Colorado, with additional shelters for those evacuated by flood waters in Texas, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The shelters offer cots, blankets, and meals, among other relief supplies. Counseling is also offered for emotional support.
"We just want to make sure people are as comfortable as they can be, as they trying to figure out what their next steps are going to be and where they're going to go from here," Toll said.
Since the flood began on September 9, eight people have lost their lives.
Seventeen counties have been affected by the flooding with over 18,000 homes damaged and nearly 1,550 completely destroyed in Colorado alone.
On Sunday, an estimated 1,000 people sought refuge in Red Cross shelters. Another 500 were sheltered Monday night. More than 7,000 meals and snacks have been served by the Red Cross with the help of the Salvation Army and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Red Cross, a non-profit organization, is asking for donations to continue its work. Donors can call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767), click www.redcross.org, or text RedCross to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
"Flood waters are still receding and there are several areas we're still trying to get to, so it's going to be several weeks and months while the Red Cross is helping with this recovery effort," Toll said.
She added, "There's just a lot of different ways that the money can be utilized to make sure we're able to meet those emergency needs."
In addition to the flood recovery efforts in the west, the Red Cross also sent counselors and blood units to help the victims, families and co-workers affected by Monday's mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.