Sunday afternoon Larry Martens returned home from South Carolina.
He’s answered the call for help many times.
He said he’s been with the Red Cross for over 12 years.
On September 3rd he prepared to answer that call again.
“All a person really needs is a desire to help others,” Martens said.
Martens and over 30 other American Red Cross volunteers in the Arkansas-Missouri region were activated to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
He ended up in the Myrtle Beach area, ready to help however he could.
“We did not have structural damage like a person would expect. The shelters we opened up we turned that as evacuation shelters,” Martens said.
Fortunately, residents there didn’t have to rely on evacuation shelters for long-term use.
“The storm passed, and everyone had a home to go back to,” Martens said.
But, Martens assistance was still needed.
As a part of the disaster mental health services team, he used his counseling experience to give people a sense of comfort during an uncertain time.
“Even though it seemed like an easy trip, there was still a lot of stress,” Martens said.
While people braced to lose everything, it was important they had someone to lean on. Martens said part of his job is to give them a realistic picture about what’s happening and to let them know they’ll be supported.
“Our clients, even though they didn’t lose their homes they had the anxiety of sitting and waiting to see what the storm would do and what it would bring to them,” Martens said.
He said a positive attitude and a friendly face goes a long way.
“You try to remain upbeat,” Martens said.
Sunday, he returned to his residence in Welcome Home, Arkansas, but he’s always ready to deploy again when needed.