Alabama Red Cross deploys to Florida to help as Hurricane Ian moves through

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 8:16 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida as a Category 4 storm and thousands of Red Cross employees and volunteers have been deployed to help.

The Executive Director of the South Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross was in Orlando Wednesday morning.

He, and the thousands of other employees and volunteers, were very busy doing last minute preparations before they had to stop and shelter in place.

They all want to be sure they’re ready to hit the ground running to help people immediately following the storm.

Brown said he spent the morning communicating with municipalities anticipating what their immediate needs will be.

Trained volunteers were gassing up emergency response vehicles and stocking them with cots, blankets, food and water, and other supplies.

They were also getting to their safe places so they can be ready and rested to offer mental health counseling and spiritual care.

Brown has been with the Red Cross for 18 years and said he’s been deployed to at least 70 disasters, but he’s still amazed at the service the Red Cross provides.

“The main needs that we provide are sheltering, feeding, and again, the mental health counseling and spiritual care. We do disaster emergency supplies like tarps, rakes, gloves, shovels, clean up kits, comfort kits, toiletries and so on all the things that family needs. Our workforce is typically 90% volunteers and to watch them at work…they deploy for two weeks 18 days away from their families and do great work and it’s inspiring,” Brown said.

Brown said the Red Cross prepares for disasters all year long, and right now they have enough materials to shelter 60,000 people following this storm.

For more information on how you can help those impacted visit www.redcross.org.

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