When you enter the Red Cross shelter in Weslaco you might meet Texas National Guard PFC Christian Cantu.

He stands at the door ready to check the temperature of all who enter and offer them a couple of pumps of hand sanitizer.

“Our task is to make sure people follow the guidelines,” said PFC Cantu.

The rules apply to everyone, including Red Cross volunteers who staff the shelter. Brenda Reed, a volunteer from the Dallas area arrives for her shift and patiently waits to get her temperature taken.

“I am just thankful that everyone has been so cooperative with the use of masks and temperature checks,” said PFC Cantu. “The clients understand COVID-19 is really serious business.”

PFC Cantu is part of a team of Texas National Guard who deployed to help support sheltering activities in the Rio Grande Valley.

Several team members traveled from Laredo to the Valley and what usually takes three hours ended up being a ten-hour trip in heavy rain.

Red Cross shelters follow CDC guidelines and before entering, all volunteers and shelter residents must wear a mask, have their temperatures checked before entering and observe social distancing.

To learn how you can support American Red Cross safety, preparedness and relief efforts visit: https://www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast.html

Story and Photo by Juanita Casanova, American Red Cross contributor