A local American Red Cross crew is on standby in case they are needed to respond to the devastation on the gulf coast.

As Tropical Depression Gordon moves northwest and slows down, volunteers at the local chapter of the American Red Cross are on standby.

Volunteers attend a series of training sessions so they are prepared.

“In the next few weeks or so, it is hurricane season so there is always that possibility that our services could be needed,” said Julia Wright.

Executive Director Julia Wright says the local chapter received a notice from the national organization to be prepared.

That means crews are ready to deploy within two hours and stay on location until they are no longer needed, which could be days or weeks.

“There are specific positions they will be recruiting for,” said Wright. “Then we look through our database of what volunteers have the appropriate training, skill set, and then actually start assigning positions.”

Wright says crews rarely leave before a storm makes landfall. She says volunteers are dispatched based how close they are to the disaster.

“So they try to work from the local community, move to the regional level, then divisional before it goes nationwide,” said Wright.

Wright says the Red Cross keeps geography in mind, by setting up headquarters on the brink of the devastation. This allows supplies and additional support teams to reach it.

Wright says safety for the crew is a priority.

“It's typically not in the middle of where the devastation is expected to happen. So we're keeping them in a safe area,” said Wright.

Wright says there will always be a need for more volunteers. Click here to volunteer.