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Omaha Red Cross volunteers head to Texas with new technology

Omaha Red Cross volunteers head to Texas with new technology

Volunteers right here in the metro are now prepping to help with disaster relief in Texas.

They drove to Lincoln for training Friday afternoon, and they were introduced to some new technology they'll take with them.

They learned how to work a new smart phone app called RC Collect.

The group says it will help volunteers do their jobs.

Frank McCrary is from Omaha. If he's deployed to Texas for hurricane relief, he'll use the app to document things and snap photos.

"We select the type of damage, the type of dwelling with very little typing," said McCrary.

Red cross management says someone at disaster relief headquarters will be in-front of a computer watching the data populate from the volunteers' smart phones in the field.

"We're all getting the same picture of where the pockets of damage are, what the degree and level of damage is, and what the needs of that community are," said Jill Neeman, a trainer with Red Cross.

She says the old way of doing things takes a lot longer because there was a lot more paper work.

In June, they got to test out the new way to submit data.

"There were a few houses that got destroyed in the Bellevue area, and we were able to go through and use a mobile app to help do all of the information," said Mike Francis, the disaster program manager for the metro.

Now armed with this new technology, McCrary says he's ready to help in Texas.

"What we try to do is bring hope and healing back to their lives," McCrary.

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