TRENTON — The best way to help those affected by the flooding in East Texas is with cash, local groups say.

Spokeswoman Dianne Concannon of the New Jersey chapter of the Red Cross said it's a matter of logistics to bring in separate truckloads of clothing and other needed items.

"Donated dollars gets the supplies that are needed by the operation for the people that are affected into the operation that much quicker" and into the hands of people that need them, Concannon said. "For those who have donate to disaster relief, that money is helping right now."

The Red Cross has companies lined up that can have supplies on the way and ready for distribution with a single phone call. It discourages donations of clothing and other "things."

"We know that all of these donations are well-intended. It really does put an extra level of activity on to an operation. It takes time to clean, sort and making sure everyone is receiving them," Concannon said.

Donations can be made  to the Red Cross in three ways:

  • Via redcross.org
  • By calling 800-RED CROSS
  • Texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Red Cross' biggest need is shelter for those who have temporarily or permanently had to leave their homes. The Red Cross said it has enough shelter supplies in Texas to support 28,000 people, and supplies for an additional 22,000 people are being sent in now.

Seventeen volunteers and three vehicles from New Jersey are currently in Texas. Hundreds of volunteers from around the country are also in Texas.

"The world was very generous to help us here in New York and New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy," with $300,000 worth of donations, according to Concannon. The donations went toward 65 shelters that were open in the days after the storm into temporary housing.

Volunteers also came to New Jersey from Texas to help with relief efforts after Sandy as well. "It's our time to give back and help the people of Texas," Concannon said.

The Salvation Army is also accepting donations for its relief efforts in Texas to provide "physical, emotional and spiritual care to survivors and relief workers," according to its website. New Jersey division spokeswoman Alexandria Hammond said no volunteers from New Jersey are headed to Texas, but that could change as damage is accessed.

Donations to the Salvation Army can be made:

The group PetResQ, based in Tenafly, received seven dogs, five kittens and a cat early Monday morning, rescued from a shelter in southeast Texas, according to NBC 4 New York.

About 100 dogs from a San Antonio shelter are expected to arrive this week at St. Hubert's Animal Center in Madison this week. They'll be sent to 28 partner shelters around the Tri-State area, according to executive director Heather Cammisa.

Cammisa said the dogs already Texas shelters are being moved out to make room for those rescued from the flooding — so New Jersey shelters are taking on the ones that had already been in place.

"Certainly that's the goal — to keep animals displaced by the storm close to their families so they can be reunited and they can help their communities with short-term housing as well," she said.

Ross Licitra of the Monmouth County SPCA and Dr. John Bergmann of the Associated Humane Society's Popcorn Park Zoo both said they both expect to take in pets this week, but plans have not been finalized.

Several thousand mutual aid utility crews are headed to Texas but PSE&G and JCP&L workers are not yet among them.

"We have not been asked for support," spokeswoman Karen Johnson said, with states closer to Texas being asked to report first.

JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said east coast crews could eventually be called in as the damage is assessed.

Are you originally from New Jersey and now in East Texas? Please contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com