VIDEO: Silicon Valley Red Cross volunteers heading to Texas to help Hurricane Harvey victims


SAN JOSE (KRON) -- It's all hands on deck at the American Red Cross.

Thousands of volunteers are on the ground in South Texas and more are on the way.

Red Cross volunteers in the Bay Area are on standby because of the coming heat wave and the threat of wildfires, but they will be deployed to South Texas sooner or later.

In the meantime, the Red Cross is using social media and other digital platforms to help with disaster relief.

That Red Cross is like a beacon to those in need, and people across Northern California are stepping up to donate and volunteer their time for the hurricane relief effort.

"This community is so heart felt, they care so much, and they want to help, and so we want to let them know how they can help the best way they can," Red Cross spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw said.

Shaw says what is needed most is financial help.

People are texting donations to 9099 while many companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have opened portals for donations.

Shaw is among scores of people who are providing digital support.

"So, we have people who are helping the local teams on the ground monitor their social media profiles and responding to the many messages and tweets and making sure that accurate and timely information gets to the people who need it," Shaw said.

For example, a Cincinnati man wanted to know how he could become a volunteer, and a Chicago woman got help locating her mother.

"Sometimes, people are on Facebook or Twitter expressing concern and fear, and being able to give them a tip or telling them they're not alone, helps so much in the response and recovery process," Shaw said.

Video shows thousands of Red Cross volunteers already on the ground in the disaster zone.

Like troops on the front line, they are only as good as their supply lines.

And support staff back home, reinforcements, are waiting for the call.


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