AUSTIN, U.S — Around 2,500 Houston residents displaced by Hurricane Harvey are set to find shelter within the Austin Convention Center.
Red Cross volunteers have moved hundreds of chairs from the mega venue’s Exhibition Hall and marked the floors to make way for cots.
To accommodate the evacuees and make things more comfortable for them at the temporary mega shelter, there will be childcare facilities, a post office and even a hair salon.
Four storeys up, hundreds of Red Cross volunteers fashioned a makeshift headquarters in preparation for what is likely to be a very busy few days, as city officials work to relocate affected evacuees.
Speaking to local media, Red Cross Spokesperson Matthew Teter told KXAN that it was a “very large operation”.
“This is certainly an operation where we know we have hundreds of thousands of people who are affected and displaced in one way or another.”
Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, told Fox 7 Austin that “it’s really not about how many people we can cram into the Convention Center, but it’s really trying to find that ideal number that we can maximise the number of people we can place in the Convention Centre but also be looking for the needs of our guests”.
This is not the first time the convention centre has opened its doors to lend a helping hand, having hosted a whopping 4,000 evacuees in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.