hurricane harvey

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is looking for more volunteers to help in disaster zones and offering expedited training to help get people to where help is needed most.

Trish Burnett, with the Red Cross, said the organization currently needs more people to staff shelters across the South.

"Hurricane Harvey Flooding - 8/26/17 to ?" by Flickr user Jill Carlson ( / (CC x 2.0)

Hurricane Harvey has prompted an outpouring of donations, but a common concern is whether these contributions are providing the most bang for the buck.

Paul Logli is President of the United Way of the Rock River Valley. He said since relief efforts are focused on long term recovery, cash donations are the most effective.

“Certainly dry clothing for the people that first come in is important," he said, "but usually the stuff pouring in the area is far in excess of immediate demand and not very usable.”

Photo by SC National Guard / (CC X 2.0)

A Chicago suburb is offering 10 free houses to people in Texas who have lost their homes to Harvey.

Harvey, Ill., spokesman Sean Howard said that volunteer tradesmen and carpenters are going to the homes this weekend to prepare them for new residents.

The city acquired the homes due to unpaid taxes, according to news reports. Instead of selling the properties to investors, the city is making them available to storm victims. Renovations could take about six weeks.

"Hurricane Harvey Flooding - 8/26/17 to ?" by Flickr user Jill Carlson ( / (CC x 2.0)

The Illinois National Guard says it's sending seven airmen and a C-130 cargo plane to help with the response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

The guard says the members of the 182nd Airlift Wing will leave Peoria on Thursday for Dallas and are expected to help with storm relief and recovery for the next three to four days.

Harvey has weakened and its floodwaters are dropping in much of the Houston area, but the death toll from the storm is rising.