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Red Cross Sending Volunteers, Equipment To East Coast Ahead Of Hurricane Florence

Shannon Wedge
Red Cross of South Central and Southeast Kansas
Red Cross Volunteer Bruce Meyer left Wichita Tuesday for the East Coast. The emergency response vehicle will provide support where needed after Hurricane Florence makes landfall.

American Red Cross chapters in Kansas are sending volunteers and equipment to the East Coast ahead of Hurricane Florence.

The massive, slow-moving hurricane is set to plow into the southeast coast by Thursday.

Rachelle Lipker, interim communications director with the American Red Cross of South Central and Southeast Kansas, says the goal is to get disaster relief crews and emergency response vehicles in place before the hurricane hits.

"What we want to do is to be able to serve those affected, once it’s safe to do so," she says. "We will be feeding, sheltering and providing assistance to those who are affected."

Red Cross emergency response vehicles from Wichita and Hays left Tuesday and headed east toward the area in the hurricane's projected path. This way, Lipker says, the crews will be close and ready to respond when needed.

"The ambulance-looking vehicle that has the American Red Cross logo on the side is being deployed to the East Coast to assist in feeding those who are affected," she says.

Volunteers from other Red Cross chapters across the Midwest are on standby for potential deployment.

Lipker says Red Cross volunteers are still working in the Houston area on long-term flood recovery more than a year after Hurricane Harvey struck.

Harvey, which made landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm on Aug. 25, 2017, killed 68 people and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.