AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The American Red Cross Executive Director for East Central Georgia Susan Everitt and five other Augusta volunteers left for Tallahassee early on Tuesday to help prepare shelters.

They want to be ready before Wednesday morning, when Hurricane Idalia is expected to hit the Gulf Coast of Florida.

 “You think of it sort of as a hub so people can go all around it, so Tallahassee is just a good location out of the eye, but also central enough to south Georgia, which is a concern to us and the panhandle of Florida as well,” Everitt said.

They are joining 420 other volunteers on the ground.

“We already have the supplies all in place, so it’s a matter our army of volunteers that are already on the ground,” Everitt said. “They set up the cots, they put out the comfort kits, they get ready to greet people and it takes no time at all to get that to happen.”

They’re prepared to help as many people as possible.

“In two days we had sixteen tractor trailer loads full of supplies already on the way down there because we want everything there in advance,” she said. “And it had things like cots, blankets, toiletry items, water, food and snacks. And the first wave is enough to shelter fourteen-thousand people, and of course the supplies will be replenished as this goes on.”

And they’re asking you to sign up to be a volunteer for future disasters, and to donate blood and money.

“Over ninety percent of every dollar that’s donated to the Red Cross goes directly back into programs and services, such as the sheltering and giving financial assistance, and they can do that online as well at red cross dot org.”

Other red cross leaders are staying in Augusta to prepare shelters and supplies in case they’re needed here. The shelter’s locations won’t be disclosed until they are ready to open.

Click here for more information about how you can help.