Utah Red Cross sends people and resources to Florida ahead of hurricane

This satellite image taken Aug. 29, 2019, at 14:20 UTC shows Hurricane Dorian moving over open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Dorian was expected to grow into a potentially devastating hurricane before hitting the U.S. mainland. | Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via The Associated Press, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — As Hurricane Dorian approaches the U.S. mainland, the American Red Cross in Utah is deploying volunteers and resources to assist with disaster preparations to help tens of thousands of people in the hurricane’s path.

Hurricane Dorian is headed for the southeast coast of the U.S., and while the exact path of Dorian is still uncertain, 19 million people live in areas that could be impacted, with as many as 50,000 people subject to evacuation.

Nationally, there are over 1,600 Red Cross volunteers on the ground at the at-risk areas. Besides volunteers, Utah has deployed an emergency response vehicle based in Provo to join a national fleet of over 100 such vehicles, comprising a third of the entire Red Cross fleet.

“The Red Cross in Utah is always ready to help out wherever the need is and right now, we are providing needed support for Florida, Georgia, The Carolinas and other affected areas,” Heidi Ruster, regional CEO for Utah and Nevada, said in a press release.

The Red Cross is coordinating with community partners and emergency responders to prepare evacuation centers for people who may seek shelter as the hurricane reaches the coast. The Red Cross has also pre-positioned additional blood products and stocked many hospitals to capacity in areas of the Southeast likely to be impacted by the storm.

What you can do

A $10 donation can be made to the American Red Cross’s response by texting “Dorian” to 90999. Any other donation amount may be made by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS. Donations enable the Red Cross to provide food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance.

Appointments for blood donations can be scheduled via the Red Cross app, available for iOS and Android. Donating blood is critically important, especially in the summer when blood donations tend to dip, according to the Red Cross.

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