Iowa Region Red Cross spokesperson, Kara Kelly, says national officials are checking with the states that are not in the path of the storm to line up help.
“There is a major call for volunteers nationwide to go anywhere from South Carolina to Florida to help, so we are making those opportunities available to folks. But at the same time….we still have a flooding operation happening in north and eastern Iowa and we still want to make sure we take care of folks at home too,” Kelly says. Two Iowa volunteers from Ankeny may be heading out to help with the Hurricane recovery sometime today.
She says they were actually scheduled to head out Thursday, but the airport in Orlando closed and they are not waiting. Kelly says if you are interested in volunteering for the Red Cross the first step is to register.
“I would say now is the time to get signed up, because if it becomes a very significant operation — which we anticipate it could be — we could start sending people pretty quickly. And sometimes that training could happen pretty quickly,” Kelly says. “The best thing to do at this point is to go to Red-Cross-dot-org and sign up to get into the system. At the very minimum you can take some of those on-line trainings and then we will see what happens.” She says it has been a significant amount of time since we’ve seen a hurricane of this magnitude.
“We’re just asking people to be prepared if you’ve got friends or families in those areas. Make sure you contact them, you know where they are going to be, and hopefully they are heeding those warnings to evacuate,” Kelly says.
In Florida alone where some areas could get as much as 10 inches of rain, the Red Cross is prepared to open or support as many as 100 evacuation shelters and has more than 30 emergency response vehicles standing by. In South Carolina, the Red Cross plans to open or support 19 evacuation shelters and dozens of additional shelters are ready to open in Georgia and North Carolina.