There are now nearly four dozen Red Cross volunteers from Iowa who’ve made the trip to the East Coast to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Linda Sutherland of Marion will be shipping out early this afternoon. She’s bound for a Red Cross shelter around White Plains, New York and says she’s been busy talking with people already working in the storm impacted area.

“I know we’ll be staying in a shelter and dealing with clients directly in the shelter, I think gas is difficult and in some cases there’s no electricity,” Sutherland said. “We’ve been warned that we could be in a building that is not well heated and fairly crowded.”

This marks the third hurricane Sutherland has responded to. She’ll be sleeping in the shelter and could be gone for several weeks, but Sutherland said she’s not packing too much. “I like to keep my suitcase to 50 pounds, so it’s something I can carry by myself,” Sutherland said.

“I have long underwear, sleeveless vests, a couple different kinds of coats and pajamas. I’m ready to go.” According to data from the Red Cross, volunteers have already served more than 481,000 meals and snacks, provided more than 12,000 health services and emotional support contacts and handed out more than 33,000 relief items.

Iowans can donate to the relief effort by visiting, calling 1-800-HELP-NOW or texting REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation to the Red Cross.

By Jill Kasperie, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids