BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Florence may still be a few days away, but the Birmingham Chapter of the American Red Cross started preparing for her arrival last week.
“We are prepping our teams. We call, we make sure we’ve got folks on standby to include staff and volunteers that are ready to deploy if needed,” says Vickey Barnett, the Interim Regional Executive Officer for Alabama.
The chapter has a network of over a thousand volunteers to pull from and their duties, once in the Carolinas, will vary.
“So it may be for feeding meals in shelters after they open. It may be after the storm hits and going in the communities to provide food,” Barnett explains.
She says here in the Birmingham area, the community can help by donating blood. Supplies are low across the nation right now and states impacted by the storm are expected to be unable to help for a few days.
“So it is our job for those not in the direct hit area to make sure we’re donating blood and getting the inventory up in case we’re called on,” she says.
Donations are also always welcomed, but Barnett says in a situation like Florence, the need for volunteers is greatest of all.
“Because the need does not go away immediately. We are prepared to stay on the ground as long as we’re needed.”