OMAHA (KPTM)- Even from more than a thousand miles away, volunteers in Nebraska are gearing up to head to the east coast to help repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Volunteers say they know they play an important part in getting everything somewhat back to normal.
The Nebraska Public Power District sent 16 volunteer linemen to West Virginia on Wednesday.
"Anytime you have a respond or need like this, it's just in the linemen's blood to go. That's what we're built to do," said lineman Dennis Wademan.
West Virginia was hit with snow, and thousands of power outages from down lines from the storm.
"We respond to get the lights back on. Electricity is not just a want these days, it's a need."
The team was sent out with ten utility trucks. Wademan says they'll go as close as possible to the main feed to get the most customers power.
"It's Just a lot of man power and a lot of will," said Wademan.
The American Red Cross Heartland Chapter sent volunteers out before the storm hit. The American Red Cross also sent thousands of meals, shelters and cots.
Tina Labellarte, CEO of the Heartland Chapter, says the need is great in this disaster. "There will probably be thousands of volunteers from every state, I'd imagine, by the time this relief operation is done. It's a huge disaster."
The Heartland Chapter plans to send 3 dozen volunteers, like Nick Kmezich.
"I have a one way ticket .Yes, a one way ticket," said Kmezich.
He'll be joined with four emergency vehicles, planning to stay for weeks. Kmezich has EMT training, which he hopes to use to keep people healthy and comforted while he's on the east coast.
Volunteers will fill a variety of other roles. "Maybe you're the person that opens up all those cots and puts them out. Maybe you're the person that fixes the food and serves it. Maybe you're the person who drives the emergency response vehicle," explained Labellarte.
All with the purpose of putting a dent in the big picture of getting things put back together.
The Salvation Army has also sent dozens of feeding units with thousands of meals in six states along the coast.
If you'd like to help with donations, officials with the organizations say monetary donations are preferred, as transporting the items can be difficult.
Text donations to the Red Cross at 90999
You can also find donation information on the following websites:
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