After the entry of the United States into World War 2 in December 1941, the Galveston County chapter of the American Red Cross organized an auxiliary unit in Texas City under Helen's chairmanship. She was also elected Chief of Women's Activities for the Texas City Civilian Defense Unit. In these capacities, Helen helped organize classes to train volunteers and to carry out civil defense efforts.
The Red Cross classes included first aid, accident prevention, and surgical dressing. Nurse's aid training was available for those who had graduated from high school. Courses in canteen management and nutrition were also offered. Another division, called Home Services, focused on helping servicemen and their families.
Civilian Defense teams were formed to respond in case of attack. They were composed of drivers, air wardens, telephone workers, and first aid and rescue workers. Texas City was divided into zones and practice demonstrations were held to keep the volunteers alert and trained in the event of an emergency.
Hugh's increasingly poor health necessitated Helen's resignation from both of these offices in 1943, although she kept up a vigorous correspondence with her successors from the Moore cabin in New Mexico.