AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)- After a devastating hurricane leaving thousands with no place to go, South Carolina’s American Red Cross was a resource for many– close and far. 

“After they, they realize you know, they don’t have power, they don’t have water and the shelters are a good place where there’s feeding programs there. We bring water in, so that’s where you’ll see some shelter counts increase,” Michael Hesbach said.

American Red Cross Executive Director of Eastern South Carolina, Michael Hesbach said the Red Cross’s preparedness was instrumental. 

“The preparedness component of what the Red Cross does has been very impressive for me. Um, so that when it’s go time we’re ready to do- deliver.”

Once hurricane Ian hit the coast of South Carolina, in Myrtle Beach, it was a tropical storm category one. 

“Right now what our teams are doing is damage assessment, emergency vehicles are going through those areas that are most hit and providing snacks, water, making sure people stay hydrated, safe. Um, we have responded to some home fires as a result of downed power lines,” Hesbach said.

But, in Florida, he knew that their job was far from simple.

“The night of the storm we housed over 33,000 people in shelters, um so those are evacuation shelters and so people will transition out of them to go back home and figure out what they are doing. Maybe they spend that first night, you know, in their car if their house is destroyed, but they gotta figure out a long term solution,” Hesbach said.

Outside of shelter, the American Red Cross has offered things like ready-to-eat meals for the families. 

“We’re running feeding routes where these emergency vehicles will go into communities and provide a hot meal or meals ready-to-eat and water,” Hesbach said.