RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As Louisiana braces for tropical storm Barry, Red Cross volunteers in Virginia are preparing to serve.
“When there is a tremendous amount of rain in a short of amount of time a region that is low lying, it’s devastating," said Patty Valadka.
Valadka is a registered nurse with extensive experience, and will be leaving Richmond to first travel to Baton Rouge, before heading to New Orleans. She will be working in a Red Cross Shelter for at least 10 days.
“This will be my third [deployment] within a year, and we are just starting hurricane season,” she said. “I have given my time until November, so I think I will be pretty busy.”
In the last 8 months, Valadka has traveled to California for the camp fires and Oklahoma for floods. She works in the shelter along with other volunteers and nurses, calling them a “giant team.”
“People don’t get their medications out, or they come in and they run out of medications--it’s dealing with chronic ongoing illness that a lot of people have, and helping them maintain health while they’re in the shelter,” explained Valadka.
She says the Red Cross shelters are Valadka are some community members home, while they are displaced. It is the reason she says volunteers work to make everyone feel safe.
“Make them as comfortable as possible --kind of ease the traumatic nature of being out of your home, and having your home be not what it was yesterday," she said.
Valadka says she is prepared to extend her time in Louisiana if she is needed.
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