INDIO, Calif. -

Storm preparedness is the number one priority right now at Martha's Village and Kitchen in Indio.  The shelter took to Twitter earlier this week asking for donations of tarps, coats and umbrellas.

"Tents, sleeping bags, you know, warm stuff," said Alex Solis, a homeless man who uses the services at Martha's Village.

"The majority of them don't even have that, and we're not ready, we're in the desert," said Dolores Martinez, who runs the Emergency Services department at Martha's Village.

Solis remembers his struggle the last time storms rolled through the valley:

"Pretty tough. I had to keep my wife dry, hold cardboard over her head, and then, she's in a wheelchair so I ran to Indio pushing her in a wheelchair that day," Solis said.

Martha's Village wants to get the word out early to make sure people move to higher ground before it's too late. One woman who used to be homeless and asked us to withhold her name recalled her experience:

"They usually wait until it's getting flooded, you know and then they'll go to the mission," she said.

Martha's Village also wants to make sure its pantry is stocked with ready-to-eat foods like canned tuna. And its got a long way to go.
"These people don't have a place to cook the items, so you know cans they can open, vegetables, peanut butter," Martinez said.
The count so far for weather gear donations: zero. And with the storm expected to bring rain to our valley by early Friday, Martha's Village hopes it will have something to hand out by then.