Local volunteer to help Indiana storm victims

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local volunteer is heading to Indiana to help victims of severe weather.

Bernie Behounek of Altoona is scheduled to leave for Indiana Thursday morning. He received his assignment to report to the Red Cross in Indianapolis late Wednesday afternoon. Behounek will help people affected by the same storm system that created widespread damage in Illinois on Sunday. He's still not sure exactly where he'll end up or how long he'll be there, but he believes he'll be providing outreach services for storm victims. He says volunteers typically stay in disaster areas for at least two weeks, and can stay longer if they want to. Behounek has helped victims at the sites of a half-dozen disasters before, including in September, when he helped victims of flooding in northern Colorado.

Behounek says the time spent away from his family in the early part of the holiday season is on his mind right now, but that his desire to help the storm victims trumps that. The executive director of the Western Wisconsin Red Cross in Altoona says Behounek is the only local Red Cross volunteer helping victims of this particular storm right now.

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