Red Cross deploys dozens of volunteers to assist with Dorian relief efforts

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MID MICHIGAN (WJRT) (09/03/19) -- When it comes to a dangerous storm like Hurricane Dorian, Red Cross officials with the East Central Bay Chapter say it's all about staying ahead of the storm.

"Every time the storm changes or the storm stays steady over the Bahamas, which is what it's doing, we anticipate what's going to happen and try to prepare as best we can," said Executive Director Amy Meister.

Meister says a total of 5 operations are set up where Dorian is likely to wreak havoc. Three emergency response vehicles are also ready to assist.

"Right now, we have 99 trailers of food supply and relief Items that are already there positioned and we'll shift that position based on the weather reports."

Meister says red cross volunteers will begin canvassing badly hit areas once the storm passes.

"Make sure that every resident has what they need, assess property damage and they'll start doing the response and recovery work."

Which isn't exactly easy. Meister says the aftermath of any storm can take an incredible emotional toll on volunteers.

"We have them go for 2-3 week shifts and then we have them come back for 1-2 weeks. And then they have to be released by our mental health volunteers before they can be deployed again."

The East Central Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross will be hosting a live telethon on ABC12 Thursday from 4:00-6:30.

Volunteers will be taking calls for donations that will go directly to Dorian relief efforts.

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