Red Cross volunteers from Colorado sent to Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian

Red Cross volunteers from Colorado sent to Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 3:29 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The American Red Cross has begun deploying hundreds of volunteers from around the county, including Colorado, to South Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall.

Now considered a Category 3 hurricane, Ian could become a Category 4 storm as it continues to gain strength over the Gulf of Mexico. Red Cross volunteers have been making they’re way south over the last couple of days to prepare in anticipation of heavy damage.

“We’ve been keeping track of where the hurricane is going to land,” says Sheltering Manager for Central Florida Thea Wasche. “We have to be really flexible and we’re shifting shelters, of course, to where the impact is going to be the hardest.”

Wasche says the top priority now is getting volunteers to their designated shelters safely, which means moving them throughout the day today and tomorrow morning before the hurricane officially hits Florida.

“There is a mass exodus, of course, going on from Tampa right now, so once they get there they have to stay there, and they will shelter down in those shelters until the impact of the storm comes,” says Wasche.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says anyone living within the path of the hurricane could lose power for weeks, but Wasche says the Red Cross is prepared to help and house displaced residents for at least the next couple of months.

“If it hits as bad as they say, it’s the 100-year storm for Tampa, we’re prepared to be here for a couple of months and that’s what the county’s projecting,” says Wasche.

Currently, the Red Cross is not accepting any donations locally. If you would like to donate, call 1-800-RedCross, or visit RedCross.org.