Muswellbrook women join United States Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston Texas

READY TO HELP: Muswellbrook's Kaliya Maxwell and Julie-Anne Ellem are heading to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.
READY TO HELP: Muswellbrook's Kaliya Maxwell and Julie-Anne Ellem are heading to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.

IN local storms and disasters, NSW State Emergency Service volunteers Kaliya Maxwell and Julie-Anne Ellem have helped many people across the Upper Hunter.

Now, they are using their emergency service skills to help those in Hurricane Harvey-devastated Texas.

On Saturday, the pair will fly to Houston, where they will meet with other volunteers, eager to make a difference.

While there will be adventure involved, by no means will it be a luxurious holiday.

“Apparently they get a big hall or a church, and they give you stretcher beds,” Mrs Maxwell said.

“My sleeping bag is half full, just with my sleeping bag and my pillow.

“They said bring earplugs because everyone snores.”

After hearing about the Team Rubicon program on Facebook, Mrs Maxwell signed up straight away.

An online module and expression of interest later, she was in the line to join the trip, which is approximately 10 days in length.

The St Joseph’s High School teacher said her goal for the trip was to help people.

“I think that’s the biggest thing,” she said.

“You see it on TV and you just can’t do anything.

“But, now I get to go over and help them.

“It’s going to be a lot of cleaning up work.

“I think most of it’s going to be mucking out; like pulling out carpet, because basically everything is contaminated over there.

“So they’re pulling down walls, they’ll pulling literally everything out of the houses, making sure the roofs are intact and cleaning up.”

Mrs Maxwell said she didn’t think she’d ever get the chance to do something like this.

While following the clean up progress online, she has seen how the damage has affected volunteers.

"From what I’ve read online a lot of people are crying,” she said.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be that emotional but it could be interesting.

“These people have lost everything – even animals.

“I couldn’t imagine being in their shoes.”