Red Cross Field Center in Nevada responds to Florence

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- If you have ever contributed to the Red Cross and wonder where your money goes, you can see it in action at the disaster field supply center in Sparks, Nevada.

The 120,000-square-foot warehouse houses everything needed to respond to a disaster.

To understand how the center works, go to a shelter in Durham, North Carolina or any Red Cross Evacuation Center in the path of Hurricane Florence. Cots, blankets and other supplies in those shelters easily could have come from the warehouse in Nevada.

The center off USA Parkway is one of five centers run by the Red Cross that houses supplies and materials needed in times of disaster.

“They have shelter support. And that is all the stuff they need to set up a shelter. Cambros, which keep the food hot, it has drink containers that they put coffee in, you know different things in. There are cups,” said Kathy Northrip-Beith who manages the DFSC.

The standby call for Hurricane Florence response came in last Wednesday to this center. Within about 24 hours, it was all systems go. Crews loaded pallets with requested materials. Crews can assemble two pallets in about 90 minutes.

They weigh about 25,000 pounds total and are loaded into trucks; which make their way to the soon-to-be disaster area.

Hurricane Florence is the first hurricane the center has responded to this year.

While the system is challenged with every disaster, it's also a learning process; which helps the centers and their crews improve with each response.

Those with the center said they are always looking for volunteers and not necessarily in times of disaster. They would like forklift experience, but they say they'll be able to put volunteers to work any way they can.

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