Local Red Cross volunteers deploy to southeast to help Hurricane Dorian victims


(WTNH)– Dozens of volunteers from Connecticut are already in the southeast as millions brace for Dorian’s impact.

Thousands are a filling up more than 100 evacuation shelters and right now it’s a waiting game.

“I’m currently in Orlando and this is where the Red Cross Disaster relief operations headquarters is,” said Neil Brockway, Regional Disaster Officer for Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Related: Before and after Dorian: Satellite images show extent of flooding on the Bahamas

Windsor’s Neil Brockway got the call Thursday and got to Florida Friday.

“We are hearing a lot of the frustration and a lot of the concern because everybody is following those forecasts minute by minute and trying to make the best decisions and it’s very nerve-racking when you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Brockway.

From Florida to North Carolina, roughly 2 million people have fled their homes, many moving into American Red Cross shelters. About 30 volunteers from Connecticut are helping run them across the Southeast.

“This has been a very slow moving storm. The forecast has been very tricky on it,” said Brockway.

Related: Local Red Cross volunteers head to Florida before hurricane

The sun is still shining in Orlando where he is but they’re closely watching the track of Hurricane Dorian for when he says they make “the call.”

“Where we’re going to be all of our workforce to hunker down and ride out the storm to ensure their safety,” said Brockway.

Brockway has some experience in this too. He deployed during Harvey, Matthew, and Maria. He says what’s most important for volunteers is to be patient and understanding with those in need.

“We have to be able to pivot, to be flexible and move and move resources quickly and those are the lessons I’ve learned in numerous past hurricane responses,” said Brockway.

So far five people have died in the Bahamas and thousands of homes were destroyed from Dorian. He says so far they have not requested help from the American Red Cross.

Right now, their local chapter is handling the response.

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