New York sends emergency teams to Texas to assist with response to Harvey

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Throughout the Tri-State area, efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Groups from the NYPD, FDNY and Red Cross headed to Texas Monday to assist with the recovery efforts.

RELATED: How to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey


Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City is dispatching 120 emergency workers to Texas to help in the response. The Fire Department's Incident Management Team and the Urban Search and Rescue Rapid Response Team are among those headed to the region.

The mayor said the city wants to assist in gratitude for all those who helped New York cope after Superstorm Sandy struck in 2012.

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Jeff Smith has more on the good-hearted American Red Cross volunteers.

Members of the Red Cross Disaster Assistance Response Team left New York for Texas on Sunday to support the Red Cross response to the hurricane. The team is comprised of active and retired FDNY firefighters who volunteer through the Red Cross during times of disaster. They say the hard work begins in the days after natural disasters hit.

"As long as we feel we're making a difference and we leave things better than we found it, then it's emotionally rewarding," volunteer George Ricco Diaz said. "After a couple of weeks, a new wave of volunteers will come in fresh and take the baton from us."

The American Red Cross is working alongside partners across communities in Texas to provide shelter, serve thousands of meals and snacks, distribute relief items, and help people plan their recovery.

At Red Cross headquarters in Manhattan, volunteers are taking calls from people looking to donate money, clothing and other items to those affected.

Additionally, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the New York Air National Guard was being sent to Texas and Louisiana. They were bringing aircraft, vessels and manpower.


Gov. Chris Christie says an emergency task force of police, fire and emergency personnel is being sent from New Jersey to Texas to help with Harvey rescue efforts.

Christie said in a statement Sunday night that as Americans, "we come together during times of crisis." He noted how emergency and law enforcement agencies came from around the country to
help New Jersey during Superstorm Sandy.

The first responders with NJ Task Force 1 are headed to the Houston suburb of Katy.


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Joe Torres has the details on Stamford-based Americares.

Stamford-based Americares deployed members from its emergency response team to meet the health needs of hurricane survivors in Texas, working with a local clinic as they do wellness checks and provide medical care to storm victims.

On Monday, workers prepared the boxes of medical supplies, water bottles and medicine that will soon head to the disaster area.

"We provided four truckloads of bottled water to support displaced residents throughout the state, and we provided a shipment of tetanus vaccines to protect first responders and relief workers," Americares vice-president of emergency response Garrett Ingoglia said.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal visited the Americares headquarters to support Connecticut relief efforts in the wake of Harvey and received an update on the status of the response.

"We should not force the Gulf Coast to go through the delay that we suffered after Sandy in relief efforts," he said. "Those delays were debilitating, unnecessary, and they should not be repeated here."

He encouraged people to support private relief organizations while he lobbies congress to quickly approve the funding to help Texans recover and rebuild.

"We think there is going to be additional need for relief supplies at the shelters, because they are sheltering so many people," Ingoglia said. "So we'll probably get more water and hygiene supplies and things like that out to shelters."

RELATED: How to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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