A group of 10 Kansas volunteers, including a Lawrence Journal-World reporter, left for Mississippi on Tuesday to assist the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
Tim Carpenter, who reports on Kansas University for the Journal-World, was scheduled to arrive in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday night, and plans to provide periodic reports to the newspaper. He traveled in one of five Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs), which left from Topeka, Salina, Wichita, Coffeyville and Garden City. The ERVs are used for mass feeding in disaster areas.
Red Cross staff members from Wichita are supervising the Jackson headquarters and training new volunteers.
Jo Byers, director of the Douglas County chapter of the American Red Cross, said Carpenter participated in a Red Cross training program in St. Louis last year, and the Journal-World agreed to release him if he was needed by the Red Cross. She said he committed to a three-week period.
"Tim will probably stay on that ERV and will probably be responsible for it during his stay," she said.
Jackie Meyer, communications specialist with the Midway Kansas chapter of the Red Cross in Wichita, said 43 ERVs were dispatched to Jackson and were reassigned to various locations in Louisiana today. Once established at their assigned areas, the ERV operators will travel designated routes daily to deliver nutritious meals to hurricane victims, she said.