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Indy Red Cross volunteers head south with relief

Indianapolis couple headed to help Hurricane Dorian victims

Indianapolis couple headed to help Hurricane Dorian victims

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On Labor Day, one Indianapolis couple is headed to help out victims of Hurricane Dorian.

The McDaniels are a volunteer super crew. It may just be the two of them, but with seven years of hurricane experience, they’re some of Indianapolis’s best.

Deb and Jesse McDaniel are Indianapolis’s own veteran hurricane relief team.

“Oh, yeah, this is about our 10th, I think, or something,” Deb McDaniel said. “We’ve been doing it since Issac back in 2012, I think it was. We did a couple last year. We do on average about one or two, we did Sandy a couple times. So, yeah, we’ve done a number of them across the country.”

They picked up the volunteer bug when they retired, and ever since, have kept an eye out for opportunities to help.

“We like to give back and the people need it and not everybody can do this,” Jesse McDaniel said. “Some people do a good job for Red Cross by simply donating because they can’t spend the time. But we’re able to spend the time. So we’re able to do that. We will do that.”

The McDaniels say hurricanes usually start in September so they always leave their schedules open in case help is needed. And they’re ready at the drop of a hat.

“Well, I have check sheets!” Deb McDaniel said. “I have a checklist for this. For basically, we’ve done it often enough that a lot of things are set aside, so it’s just a matter of, like, having a go-bag. It’s not quite that sophisticated, but it helps. And then we just clear our calendars and, uh..”

“Stop the mail,” Jesse McDaniel said.

“Stop the mail and get ready to go!” Deb McDaniel said.

The McDaniels primarily work out of Red Cross emergency response vehicles, so they’ve got to load them up with everything they could possibly need. The McDaniels started loading up supplies on Saturday and were ready to hit the road on Monday, which is a little more prep time than they usually get. They’re hoping to get to Montgomery, Alabama as fast as they can. That’s where they’ll be positioned to get that food and supplies to anywhere that might need it.

“It’s tough, but they’re very appreciative and they need the help,” Deb McDaniel said. “So we’re just glad we can do it.”

The McDaniels also say they know not everyone has the time to volunteer themselves but they do ask that people still try to help through donations.

They suggest donating through the Red Cross here.