September 8 2017— Right now, the American Red Cross is launching a massive response to Hurricane Irma from the U.S. Virgin Islands through Florida to the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., especially as this massive storm moves closer and closer to heavily populated areas.
Irma is expected to make landfall in Florida late Saturday September 9 into Sunday September 10. Currently, the storm is a Category 4 hurricane, with 155 mph winds and experts predict that it could bring as much as 20 inches of rain and several feet of dangerous storm surges.
Millions of people are under evacuation orders in Florida and Georgia, and the Governors in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have issued states of emergency for all three states. Safe to say, the impact of this Hurricane could be catastrophic.
While still helping people in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Red Cross is finalizing its preparations for Hurricane Irma by getting supplies and trained workers in place to support sheltering and relief efforts throughout Florida and parts of the East Coast of the United States. And, here at the Red Cross Los Angeles Region, we are actively training and deploying volunteers to areas that may most likely be impacted by this storm.
Six of those volunteers left from the Los Angeles Region Headquarters today, driving four Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV’s) from Los Angeles, CA to Tallahassee, FL. Joseph Marsala, Jann Bouldin, Linda Venema, Genesis Fabian, Nigel Taylor, and Tracy Harpert left around 9 am this morning from West L.A. and are expected to arrive in Tallahassee within the week.
While Nigel, Jann and Joseph are veterans of the Red Cross, with over 35 years combined experience, Linda, Genesis and Tracy are brand new to the Red Cross, only having recently undergone the training necessary to deploy to a National Disaster Response through the Red Cross’ new Just in Time Training put in place to prepare new volunteers shortly after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of Houston, TX.