LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — While Hurricane Dorian's winds pick up, volunteers in Arkansas are packing up!
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, a volunteer non-profit group, is a national organization that helps with any and every disaster relief effort, ranging from forest fires, to tornadoes, to floods.
With experience under their belt and hearts of gold, rough waters aren't something that these warriors back away from.
Jeff Watts, Sheep Dog's Central Arkansas Chapter Commander, said they helped with Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Sandy, and the list keeps on going.
He said the organization actually started in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and it has 17 teams and chapters across the country.
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance is a volunteer team made up of military and first responders. Just a few months ago, they dusted off their hands as they finished helping their neighbors from the Arkansas River flood.
Now with winds at 220 miles per hour, Watts said they are gearing up to take on Hurricane Dorian.
"We try to be ready at all times. We have our disaster response trailer; we have our gear is all ready ready to go," he said.
It is a fully stocked trailer loaded with snacks, gasoline, and safety gear. Watts said it's all the necessities to keep themselves self-sufficient while they help out those who may be losing it all.
"With a hurricane, it's widespread. There's not a damaged path. It's not along a particular river or tributary. It is a lot of the state, so once you get there a lot of times, the devastation kind of takes you back," he said.
Watts said the biggest question currently is: "Where will this storm take them?"
"Right now, our national disaster response team is monitoring the situation. Obviously, Hurricane Dorian is a slow moving storm, so we are not sure where she is going to make landfall," he said.
Even though the location isn't final, they still have a tentative schedule of leaving Arkansas Wednesday, the September 4, and returning Monday, September 9.
Watts said the team can be anywhere from 9 to 40.
"Since we are all volunteers, it all depends on who can get away from work and family and their obligations," he said.
Once they are there, the work begins immediately. They make contact with local emergency managers, sheriff's offices, and figure out what and where the need is.
When it's all said and done, Watts said all you need to volunteer is time and the desire to give back.
"You don't have to have any special equipment, you don't have to have any special training; just a good pair of work gloves, work boots and a willingness to help," he said.
Right now, Sheep Dog is asking for gift cards for gas, Walmart, or Home Depot to help them out once they are on the streets.
You can also donate at sheepdogia.org and you can register for volunteering by clicking here.