Crews with Samaritan's Purse on standby as Isaac approaches Gulf Coast



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Crews from the Charlotte area are on standby, waiting for the green light to head toward the Gulf Coast.

Volunteers with Samaritan's Purse said they're waiting for the storm to pass to figure out where they're needed most.

Some of the items aboard a 53-foot tractor-trailer in Samaritan's Purse’s staging center in North Wilkesboro include rolls of plastic to cover roofs damaged by the storm and all kinds of  tools to enable workers to reach those most in need.

“A lot of people, when a hurricane hits, they lose what they have worked their whole lifetime for. They'll just lose it in that storm,” said Marty Cottrell with Samaritan's Purse. “And after the storm they are like, ‘What do we do now?’”

That’s where Samaritan’s Purse comes in. Two employees are already in Alabama, and they will make the decision on where the trucks are needed most once the storm makes landfall.

The Samaritan's Purse tractor-trailers have two levels. They can load equipment and also set aside supplies on the second level to respond to almost any kind of natural disaster.

Eyewitness News followed Tim Hass, who manages disaster relief, into an office inside the big rig. It acts as a command center to dispatch crews and supplies.

“We really like to go to the area where the people are overlooked,” Hass said. “We look for people who don't have insurance -- maybe they are elderly, maybe they are disabled.”

The big rigs are on standby as Hurricane Isaac approaches. They can be on the road one hour after a decision is made on which community needs help the most.