The effort started over the weekend when a team of volunteers from Provo left Saturday with an emergency response vehicle (ERV) to join a fleet of over 100 other ERVs in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. A volunteer from St. George will also leave for Georgia soon for hurricane relief.
Robert Allen, the regional disaster workforce engagement manager for the Salt Lake City chapter of the American Red Cross, says the chances of more volunteers heading east for aid are good.
“When the storm makes landfall, they will reevaluate [the situation], and if they need more of these on the ground there, they’ll let us know and we’ll send them out,” Allen said.
Volunteers plan on providing food and shelter right away for victims. Once they hit the ground, they expect a worst-case scenario — like what happened in the Bahamas.
People might want to help by donating food, clothing or supplies, but the Red Cross says it is better to help locally by giving blood, donating money online, or texting “DORIAN” to 90999. That text will send $10 directly to hurricane response and recovery efforts.
“The dollar actually goes a lot farther, because they assist us in getting donations to people,” Allen said. “It’s hard to turn around and say okay we need 10,000 coats. People say ‘we can send them,’ but it’s easier for us to get our partners to help.”