Northeast Ohio Red Cross workers, firefighters help with hurricane relief

NORTHEAST OHIO -- The American Red Cross is preparing to assist up to 100,000 people in the Carolinas and Virginia as Hurricane Florence nears the east coast.

1500 Red Cross disaster workers are currently setting up shelters, including 16 workers from northeast Ohio.

Meantime, another group that is hitting the road.

Two northeast Ohio firefighters are on the road for a potentially dangerous mission. Lt. Brian Harting and Euclid's Chris Caimi are leaving behind their fire trucks to help with rescue efforts after Hurricane Florence hits.

They are members of Ohio Task Force 1, a team comprised of more than 200 first responders from Ohio that rescue people during natural disasters.

Lt. Harting  said, "We have four pick-up trucks, four boats, a Tahoe a 24 foot box truck and what we bring is what we have and we really don't have access to a lot of other supplies if we don't already have them with us."

As for the local Red Cross, they are sending more emergency response vehicles and volunteers to help at shelters serving evacuees.

The 9 volunteers who left northeast Ohio Tuesday are already on the ground in West Virginia and the Carolinas.

The next round will be assigned shortly.

Red Cross spokesperson Jim McIntyre stressed to those who want to help that monetary and blood donations will be needed more than ever, however, what they don't want is goods.

"Clothing, food. That kind of thing when you're outside of the disaster area often times doesn't get to the disaster area, and it cost a lot of money to store it," said McIntyre.

Meanwhile, Ohio's bravest are sending out a warning to those in areas expected to be hit the hardest.

"If they have't evacuated, evacuate they're just causing more harm to themselves then you're gonna put rescuers in harm's way," Harting said.

Continuing coverage of Hurricane Florence here