Louisville volunteers head south to help with disaster relief

Louisville volunteers head south to help with disaster relief

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The Salvation Army of Louisville is sending a truck full of supplies and a group of volunteers to help those affected by Hurricane Irma. The group does not know where they will go and plans are fluid.

It is the first time in five years the Salvation Army of Louisville sends help to a disaster area.

"They kind of wonder why you do it," Don Gatewood said. "A lot of people ask that question, but someone has to do it."

Gatewood has volunteered with local disaster relief for decades. This is his second time helping with hurricane relief.

On Sunday, volunteers gathered enough drinking water to helps thousands. The Salvation Army in Louisville is deploying four individuals to help with the damage left by strong winds and heavy rains of Hurricane Irma.

"When they said they were sending people to Florida, I told them put my name on the list and I was ready to go," Gatewood said.

Gatewood will serve food and water with the Salvation Army for two weeks.

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Deployments last 14 days to avoid fatigue on the part of the volunteers.

"Certainly, we are all concerned, basically going down as the storm is moving up," David Yarmuth said.

Yarmuth is the Director of Community Relations for the Salvation Army of Louisville. He says helping in Hurricane Irma is his first deployment. He and the other volunteers have packed enough supplies to provide 1,000 meals initially. Crews have no idea where their help will be needed.

"We are laser focus about the job at hand," Yarmuth said.

The crew will pick up another mobile feeding unit in Nashville and stay in Chattanooga until they are given a location to provide disaster relief.

"It is important that we are ready and trained and we are prepared," Yarmuth said.

The Louisville Salvation Army purchased supplies with donations made by the community.

The crew headed down to help says it's an honor to deliver those supplies.

"Once we hit the ground, we are going to do our job," Gatewood said. "Whatever task needs to be done we will do it in a safe and speedy manner."

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