FARMINGTON, Conn.,(October 9, 2018) – Six American Red Cross volunteers from the Connecticut and Rhode Island Region are deploying to support Red Cross relief efforts as tens of thousands of people are in the path of Hurricane Michael.

NAME                                   HOMETOWN              LOCATION           FUNCTION

Joe Apicelli                          Groton, CT                  Tallahassee, FL      Feeding

Laura Callahan                    Milford, CT                  Tallahassee, FL      Sheltering

Tamar Ghajanian                 Wawrick, RI                 Tallahassee, FL     Sheltering

David Llewellyn                    Niantic, CT                  Tallahassee, FL     Sheltering

Cheryl MacKenzie                West Hartford, CT       Macon, GA            Sheltering

Steven Thomas                    Woodbury, CT             Tallahassee, FL     Disaster Services Technology

As the second major hurricane in just weeks is set to hit the southeast, the Red Cross is preparing to help tens of thousands of people in the path of Hurricane Michael, even while continuing efforts in the Carolinas for families still trying to recover from Hurricane Florence.

Michael is predicted to be life-threatening, and is expected to hit parts of Florida Wednesday with strong winds, devastating flooding and storm surge as high as 12 feet in some places. The storm is still strengthening with winds already close to 110 mph. Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate, and governors in Florida and Alabama have already declared states of emergency.

“We urge people to take this dangerous hurricane very seriously and make their final storm preparations now,” said Brad Kieserman, Vice President of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “The Red Cross is working closely with state and local authorities in Florida, Alabama and Georgia to support evacuation centers for as many as 30,000 people who may need a safe place to stay during the storm.”

Evacuation centers are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until the storm passes and weather conditions improve, and it should be noted that some of these centers may not have cots, food, running water or electricity. In time, and if needed, local government officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters if residents can’t return home after the storm passes. The Red Cross supports both pre-landfall evacuation centers and post-landfall emergency shelters with trained workers, shelter supplies and other aid. Anyone coming to an evacuation center should bring items like blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, and items for children.

In advance of Hurricane Michael, the Red Cross is mobilizing trained volunteers, shelter supplies and other equipment, preparing to provide shelter for tens of thousands of people until they can return home or find other places to stay. The Red Cross is also seeking to partner with organizations that can support the temporary placement of household pets; please regularly check media to best understand where those facilities are located.

HURRICANE FLORENCE RESPONSE CONTINUES Meanwhile, more than 2,700 trained Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in North Carolina and South Carolina, continuing to provide food, shelter and other relief services to people impacted by Hurricane Florence. On Monday night, more than 560 people were still in 12 shelters, primarily in North Carolina. To date, the Red Cross and partners have served more than 1.53 million meals and snacks, and distributed more than 300,700 relief items throughout the affected areas.

HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by storms and countless other crises by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.