Virginia Red Cross prepares for potential impacts of Tropical Storm Ian

Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 7:00 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -As Tropical Storm Ian continues to move into the Gulf Coast, here at home Virginia Red Cross is preparing to respond to any impacts from the storm. The organization said there’s a process in place for when it would deploy volunteers to areas hit by these tropical storms and hurricanes.

Right now, Virginia Red Cross has sent one volunteer to Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Fiona relief efforts. The organization is still waiting to see how much relief will be needed in Florida when Ian makes landfall.

According to Virginia Red Cross, it’s protocol any time a natural disaster like a hurricane happens for volunteers to help with whatever relief may be needed back at home first.

“So if there is any impact here in the state we can respond immediately and then if there is no impact here in Virginia then Red Cross Resources both physical resources and volunteers can then deploy into those areas that do see impacts from the storm to deliver relief to those communities,” explained Jonathan McNamara who serves as the Communications Director for Virginia Red Cross.

Hundreds of volunteers across the state are on standby as they wait to see how they might be needed when Ian makes landfall. Red Cross also has a warehouse filled with items, all funded by community donations. Those items are ready to be used as resources and distributed to those impacted by the storm.

“From our experience as an organization we’ve done this for many, many years we know what the needs are after these types of storms so we have those types of supplies ready but we’re also nimble enough to adapt and knowing that every storm is unique,” McNamara said.

Virginia Red Cross said the best thing people can do is to prepare for the worst by making sure your emergency kit is personalized to you and your family’s needs.

Meaning it’s not just the bottled water, the extra food, a flashlight and batteries. Your family may have young children you may have pets making sure your emergency preparedness kit fits those needs. If you have medical conditions if you have devices that need to be charged and powered do that now,” stated McNamara.