TAMPA, Fla. - Twenty disaster workers, a majority of them being volunteers, were deployed from the Bay Area to Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle in advance of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Sunday on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
"Trucks are staged, they're loaded up, we also have volunteers that are in those evacuation centers, that are there with the essential things that people need to seek a safe place while Ida passes over the area," said Eric Corliss, the regional CEO for the American Red Cross of Central Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Local volunteers are joined by 600 other American Red Cross volunteers from around the country.
"They’re opening dozens of emergency evacuation shelters for people to evacuate those risk areas because we're looking at a very strong Category 4 hurricane with substantial rain and storm surge," Corliss said.
LINK: Track the tropics on MyFOXHurricane.com
Volunteers aren’t only helping with shelters, food, and supplies. They’re providing people with counseling services as well.
"Louisiana has had back-to-back repetition and this significance of today, of all days to make landfall, the anniversary of Katrina, just really has a big impact on the mental health and the well-being of the people we're there to care for," said Corliss.
MORE: TECO crews head to Louisiana as residents brace for Hurricane Ida
If you want to help, here is how:
To donate, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Financial donations enable the Red Cross to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters like hurricanes or countless other crises.
To volunteer, get started at redcross.org/VolunteerToday. Prospective volunteers are encouraged to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult their health care provider and follow local guidance. Our top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and the people we serve.