Red Cross ERV’s (Emergency Response Vehicles) line up at a Red Cross kitchen in Rosenburg, TX to pick up meals to distribute in flood-affected communities. Photo credit: Mallory Scheve/American Red Cross

By Jennifer Heisler & Mallory Scheve

Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are roaming the hardest hit areas along the Gulf Coast of Texas, delivering essential supplies to neighborhoods in need. More than 25 ERVs from across the country have been dispatched with lightning speed. These vehicles arrive from their home state with a team of two volunteers, adding a much needed human resource.

“We run into a little bit of everything,” says Jay Tomasesk, a volunteer ERV driver from Gainsville, GA. “We often encounter homes that have been demolished. These families have lost everything. We listen to their stories and try and help them with their needs. They’re very happy to see us because it means there’s hope.”

Jay, like other Red Cross volunteers, does not mind being away from home. He finds it extremely rewarding to know that he can make an impact on families affected by the recent flooding. “You get to know people, and they become like family,” says Jay. “Kids that don’t have anything stop and visit with us, just to say hello.”

As the Texas Gulf Coast begins its long road to recovery, American Red Cross ERVs will continue to circulate throughout neighborhoods in need. “During times of disaster, sometimes the simplest things like a hot meal can bring comfort to those in need,” says Jay. These vehicles are much more than just trucks. They serve as beacons of hope to families during their darkest hour.