CLEVELAND -- With widespread devastation, volunteers and rescue workers from Northeast Ohio remain on the ground in Florida helping in the hurricane recovery.
Sixteen members of the urban search and rescue team Ohio Task Force 1 are working near Panama City. The team made up of first responders from across the state has searched hundreds of buildings looking for victims, according to the group’s Facebook page.
Ohio Task Force 1 is also sending three K-9s and their handlers to the region to help with searches.
Nineteen Red Cross disaster workers from Northeast Ohio are among more than 1,300 Red Cross workers supporting hurricane relief.
The organization reports more than 1,600 people stayed in shelters in Florida, Georgia and Alabama Sunday night.
“We have hundreds and hundreds of Red Cross disaster relief workers helping shelter, provide food and comfort to those in need,” said American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Regional CEO Michael Parks. “There's a lack of hope. They've lost everything, literally everything, and they don't know what the future holds. That's one of the things the Red Cross does is we provide hope, is we care and provide much needed food and shelter and opportunity for the future.”
Parks said the Red Cross is funded solely by donations and relies on volunteers. There is also a need for blood donors to help the supply in the storm zone.
“The Red Cross need is great at these times when there are natural disasters like a Hurricane Michael that has just devastated communities it has impacted,” Parks said.
There are several ways to help:
Donate Money: redcross.org
Donate Blood: redcrossblood.org