Hurricane Florence hasn’t hit yet, but preparations to handle the aftermath of the storm are already underway, and that includes people from the local area headed down south to help.
Twelve American Red Cross volunteers from eastern New York are headed to North and South Carolina as Hurricane Florence approaches, according to the Red Cross. Red Cross employee Adam Hohl, of Utica, and volunteer Donald Lamanna, of Oneonta, are both among the group.
Hurricane Florence is approaching the east coast as a Category 4 hurricane, and it could reach Category 5 strength. More than one million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under a mandatory evacuation order.
The local volunteers are scheduled to be deployed for at least two weeks, and the local disaster relief manager is flying into Durham, North Carolina on Tuesday. He will be coordinating with volunteers to shelter and feed people, as well as providing mental health support and referring people to other services they may need.
“What our main focus will be is setting up evacuation shelter's and getting the people and the supplies in place in order to weather the storm and make sure that members of the community, but also our workers, are safe as possible when hurricane Florence hits,” said Adam Hohl, disaster program manager for the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Afterwards we will have people already on the ground as well as supplies on the grounds to begin doing an initial assessment of the damage and start providing assistance to people that have been impacted.”
Hohl said that anyone who would like to help can donate money to the Red Cross. Officials say monetary donations make it easier to help people, rather than donating supplies, because it can be difficult and expensive to transport those items.
If you’re interested in donating, click here. You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The full list of eastern New York volunteers headed to the Carolinas includes:
- Rich Hajeris of Albany – S. Carolina on Monday, September 10
- Karl Costin of Plattsburgh – S. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Bobby Domanico of Halfmoon – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Roy Guilder of Watertown – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Adam Hohl of Utica – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Donald Lamanna of Oneonta – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Jose Santiago of Kerhonkson – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Randy Saumier of Massena – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Diane Shoen of Watertown – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Frank Sierra of Glasco – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Dennis Therrien of Gansevoort – N. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11
- Mike Tripodi of Loudonville – S. Carolina on Tuesday, September 11