Local volunteers headed east to help those in path of megastorm

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EAU CLAIRE, WIS. (WEAU) -- It is safe to say Red Cross volunteers from the Chippewa Valley have been through their share of disasters nationwide.

And on Friday, with worrying growing about Hurricane Sandy, Ed Eckwright and Dennis Clark are getting ready to hit the road bright and early.

"When the hurricane comes in, they'll deploy us to where we are needed," Eckwright said.

They are doing a final inspection of their ERV before driving it to Maryland. Once there, they will spend three to four weeks, helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Eckwright has been on 22 disaster relief missions, some of them alongside Dennis Clark.

Once on the ground, they will wait out the storm and go from there.

"Either we're taking out snacks, or meals, whatever is needed," Clark added.

Earlier today, we got a look inside the ERV.

"Typically you would see this vehicle out in the neighborhood delivering food, water and cleaning supplies," said Jenny Legaspi, the Emergency Services Director at the American Red Cross in Altoona.

The ERV is full of special containers that keep food hot and cold for a long time. Four of them have been sent out from our area so far.

"So we're gonna continue to put our volunteers on standby," Legaspi said.

Eckwright says he is one of those volunteers because of what the American Red Cross did for him when he was in a Florida Hurricane years ago.

"You gotta really see what they do to appreciate what they do," Eckwright said.

Their way of paying it forward.

For more information about volunteering opportunities with the American Red Cross, click here.

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