Man Offers Free Hurricane Preparedness Help to Community
BROWNSVILLE – When natural disasters threaten the Rio Grande Valley, many rush to protect their home and property.
As Hurricane Harvey moved closed to the Texas coast Friday, a Brownsville man spent the day offering help to complete strangers to make sure they stayed safe during this storm.
Erasmo Gonzales' big truck with mud on the tires, isn't just a toy. It's also the rescue vehicle he uses to help people stuck in difficult situations.
He's part of an online group of about 25,000 good Samaritans across the Valley, RGV Mud and Sand Recovery. Members are ready and willing to help, at a moment’s notice.
"If you have a friend or somebody that gets stuck, you know, they run out of gas or their battery is dead, they need a jump, you can have someone post on that page," Gonzales said. “And within minutes someone is responding right away."
On Friday, Gonzales told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he decided to take it a little further.
He decided to offer his truck, time and energy to help people in Brownsville prepare for Harvey. Asking nothing in return, he posted his cellphone number on social media for those in need.
"Not everyone is fortunate enough to have somebody that can help them out as far as boarding up their windows or getting sandbags for their house, or whatever the case may be," he said. "They (could) get stranded somewhere, and may need a tow out of the water."
He admitted, though, it's also a chance to enjoy his ride. Most of all, he gets to serve the public like both of his parents – his father, a retired DPS trooper, and his mother, a retired airline stewardess.
"I feel like people need to step up a little bit and, you know, help our neighbors as much as possible," he said. "Treat people how you want to be treated, and just pass it on."
Gonzales said he was able to help two others Friday in lieu of Harvey.
"I delivered 25 palettes," he said.
He said he'll continue helping people even after Harvey.
Gonzalez added he doesn't charge because his pay-off is seeing the smile on people's faces and riding around town in his eye-catching truck.
Anyone needing help if they are stranded or the road or stuck in the mud or sand can call him at 956-408-9377.
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