The devastation is widespread and overwhelming. Hurricane Katrina has left tens of thousands homeless. And could cost $25 billion in insurance claims, making it the most expensive hurricane in U.S. history. Red Cross offices around the country are mobilizing, sending crews of volunteers and collecting money.
Caroline Punches, Director of the Northern Nevada American Red Cross, "At this time we have no real clue what the total damage assessment is going to be for that area. People just haven't had a chance to go in and assess the damage yet."
Caroline Punches is executive director of the Red Cross office here in Reno. One of their emergency response vehicles is preparing to leave for the Southeast. And it's not too late if you want to volunteer.
Punches, says "Because we will need volunteers for awhile. We will be setting up special classes for folks who would like to become volunteers. So they can have the skills to go down and help, Absolutely."
The Red Cross will help with temporary shelters, meals, water, and much more. All of that takes money, and their Disaster Relief fund will take a huge hit. "Basically the thing people can do here to really make an impact is make a financial."
Another relief agency ready to lend massive support is the Salvation Army they say they are prepared to 4-hundred thousand hot meals a day to residents and first responders. Any donation you make, either to the Red Cross or Salvation Army is tax deductible.