Arizona volunteers travel to help tornado-stricken South

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PHOENIX – It’s clear the people in the hardest hit areas in Alabama are in need of help.

They need a warm place to sleep, clothes, medical treatment and food. That’s where the Red Cross comes in. Peggy McAlpine is packing everything she will need for the next three weeks into a suitcase. She says she has it down to a science. "I take a lot of scrubs. It’s just easier."

She is leaving Friday morning for Alabama where she will work as a nursing supervisor at one of the many Red Cross shelters in the state.

She describes the work ahead of her. "You get one day off about every seven or eight days and we work 12-hour shifts, sometimes more."

With a resume packed with 30 years of operating room experience, Peggy is a major asset as a volunteer. She has helped in 10 different disaster areas over the years but nothing like this.

"Most of what I have been to is floods. I have been to some earthquakes and hurricanes. (The tornado) It's just horrendous. It’s hard to imagine," Peggy says.

So far three Arizona Red Cross volunteers have been tapped to help people in Alabama but up to 300 are ready to go within 24 hours after getting the call.

Nicole Underwood, with the Red Cross, says they are ready. "That’s what we do. We help those that are in need.”

You can help too. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. You can also donate to the Red Cross at www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d8aaecf214c576bf971e4cfe43181aa0/.