Volunteer says New Orleans is better prepared than 2005

9:00 AM, Aug 29, 2012   |    comments
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SEBAGO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A volunteer from Maine knows all too well the destruction Hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans seven years ago.

Allen Crabtree says images from the time he spent volunteering in New Orleans is still very vivid in his mind; it was his first trip as a Red Cross Volunteer.  Crabtree says the city of New Orleans and the Red Cross are more prepared for a hurricane this time around.  Already 560 people evacuated their homes and are in one of the 42 shelters Red Cross has set up.  When Katrina hit, Crabtree says people were refusing to leave their homes.  An estimated 1,500 volunteers are in New Orleans right now, 30 from Maine.

"You always get nervous about something like this because there's a touch of unknown and a disaster is a disaster," Crabtree said. "The thing that is gratifying is that we have been preaching the message of preparedness since Katrina, and even before Katrina...It's us helping people get prepared so they can deal with something like this."

The Red Cross is always in need of more volunteers and donations.  If you'd like to get involved, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit its website.

Photos used in the story are courtesy of the American Red Cross.


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