DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to blow hard through Florida in the few days, and the Michigan Red Cross wants to be there to help potential victims.

Nine  Southeastern Michigan Region disaster volunteers are traveling south to help Florida prepare for the storm, alongside hundreds of volunteers from around the United States. They’re preparing to open dozens of shelters across the state of Florida.

Local volunteers will work in shelter operations, facilities and health services.

The Red Cross has 22 emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 are on the way in advance of Isaac.  Another 78 vehicles are on standby if needed.  The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies and clean-up items like rakes, shovels and tarps to send to Florida.

“This is what makes volunteering special with the Red Cross,” explained the Red Cross’ Neil Todd.  “It’s like family—you’re needed to help this member out now, and if another one is in need, you pack up and help them through their difficulty. Red Cross volunteers in other states have provided us with the same generosity of their time and skills.”

Staffer Toyia Yanced added: “Our chapter volunteers are trained to provide a variety of disaster relief services for the people they help. It is extremely rewarding work and the volunteers always say they get so much more from the people they help than vice versa.”

Want to track the storm? Download the new free Red Cross Hurricane App, which puts real time information on hurricane safety at your fingertips. The app features information on Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The one-touch “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they’re OK.

The hurricane App can be found in the Apple Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross apps.



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