NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Ahead of Hurricane Ian, the American Red Cross is sending hundreds of trained disaster workers to Orlando, Florida including three from Connecticut.
Two of the Connecticut volunteers are already on the ground in Florida and the third flies out Tuesday morning.
As the storm ramps up, the volunteers will be moved appropriately as they begin to open additional shelters potentially.
Many are trained year-round to help and respond to disasters they say they’ll work with the community to understand the storm’s impact and the help they provide could be in shelters, or emotional support.
“So we do pre-position supplies. So that means not only snacks, water, some of those toiletries, and basic necessities that people will need at shelters. But also preparing what would be involved with a shelter, so that includes cots and additional items for us to be able to open up a safe place for people to stay within a very short period of time,” said Jocelyn Hillard, CT & RI Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross.
Hillard recently went out west herself to support the Red Cross wildfire response. She said there are some volunteers that deploy one or two times a year and others who raise their hands over and over again to help others across the country.
“We are working constantly with our local communities and government and elected officials to identify needs and provide that safe place for people,” said Hillard.