Aiken’s Red Cross preparing for Dorian


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — One local organization in the CSRA is getting ready ahead of Dorian.

The American Red Cross has been helping individuals and families for more than 100 years. Dorian is no different. Right now its exact path is still uncertain but current models say at least a part of the east coast will be affected. So, volunteers with the Red Cross in Aiken, South Carolina is doing what it does best — preparing before disaster strikes.

Red Cross trailers with supplies are loaded and stagged at several different locations including Aiken, just in case the need arises. Each trailer holds supplies for more than 50 people with cots, blankets, and items for holding hot foods. “It’s really hard to anticipate what this storm is going to do just yet,” Disaster Program Manager of the Red Cross John Madrid told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

Teams are also checking shelter agreements with local organizations and businesses.”I’m probably going to be calling the churches and civic centers — anything that has a nice sized gym. Just to see if they can stand up to be a shelter if we need it,” Dale Couch added.

“I would like to help out with the shelter experience and help people cope with their loss.” new volunteer Stephaine Jackson said.

It takes a village to make their mission come into fruition, folks are manning the phones, getting in touch with past volunteers to get more boots on the ground. One volunteer said that because of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, she had to find a way to help out. “After those, it got me thinking about how I could help out. I wanted to help out. And so I decided to join the Red Cross and the first thing I did was out disaster action team,” Nancy Jacobs said.

Officials tell us at this point, there are no plans to send volunteers from the CSRA to help in Florida just in case those resources are needed here at home.”We still have to wait before we start sending people out of the door. if it looks like we are not going to be affected here and it looks like we’re in the clear as far as any future storms coming for a while, then yeah at that point we still start looking at sending people down to Florida or Georgia or other places that are impacted,” Madrid added.

The manager of logistics says that in the face of disaster, the Red Cross experience is a rewarding one. “Just the effort and sweat and tears and warmth they put into it it’s so much time and it’s really so much effort and seeing that all come together is one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences the Red Cross an offer,” Cynthia Wilson said.

Meanwhile, in case evacuation shelters are opened this weekend, the Red Cross will provide shelter information through its app.

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