CLEVELAND -- While residents in the southeastern states are preparing for Hurricane Dorian, volunteers with the Northeast Ohio American Red Cross are preparing to deploy to Florida and other areas impacted by the storm.
Jim McIntyre, Communications Manager for the Northeast Ohio American Red Cross, says the Cleveland area volunteers are joining hundreds of other volunteers from across the country as they head to areas that will see the most impact from the dangerous hurricane.
"The American Red Cross will be ready to mobilize to set up shelters. So far we plan to set up 100 shelters in the state of Florida," McIntyre said.
Forecasters say if Dorian stays as powerful as it is now, it would be the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 which caused massive destruction.
"So once Hurricane Dorian passes, we'll be driving through neighborhoods that have been damaged by the hurricane and we'll be delivering more meals," McIntyre said.
In addition to providing shelters, three meals a day, and supplies, Red Cross is deploying highly trained professionals who can offer evacuees and storm victims emotional counseling.
"We also have disaster health and mental health volunteers who are certified medical professionals, who can offer storm victims comfort and hope," McIntyre said.
The local Red Cross volunteers will head south in their emergency response vehicles Sunday.