United Way’s Robinson: ‘Wait and see what’s needed’ to help with relief

By Joey McWilliams

DURANT – Hurricane Harvey – or whatever it has been downgraded to at the moment – is still in the process of causing damage in the south Texas and Louisiana area.

The aftermath of this destruction will be felt for months and years after.

And the people affected by this event will need an abundance of help. But the time for many people to actually travel to the area to help them has not yet come, according to Pam Robinson, director of the Bryan County United Way.

“What I’m concerned about is that people will take off to go down there,” Robinson said. “And what happens in that kind of situation is that you get down there and they’re not organized yet and they can’t really send you anywhere because they don’t know at this point what all they’re going to need.”

Trained rescue crews from around the area will be dispatched a little later, but the key word is ‘trained.’

Robinson noted there are already some disaster relief organizations that are on their way down there with basic supplies.

She also referred to major companies that will help out, like Anheuser-Busch, which suspended its beer production on Monday to can fresh water and sent more than 150,000 cans of water to Arlington, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La.

“So people like that are going to send things, but as far as volunteer going down there, it’s not time yet until this is all over,” Robinson said. “When we find out what is needed, I’ll let everybody know.

“If they want to bring it to us, that’s fine. We will usually have different businesses in the community that will step up and let people drop off things, but we even have to be coordinated, too. We have to have a way to get it down there.

“So we just have to wait and see what’s needed and let the people who know what they’re doing organize this and tell us what to do.”

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