Red Cross deploys disaster relief volunteers to Florida
CHATTANOOGA, (WRCB) — The American Red Cross Chattanooga Area Chapter has deployed two local volunteers from Hamilton and Monroe Counties to Tampa, FL to work in Mass Care and Sheltering operations in advance of the expected landfall of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Additionally, Red Cross Emergency Services Manager John Hitchens of Chattanooga will be stationed at the FEMA Regional Command and Coordination Center (RCCC) in Atlanta where he will serve as a Government Liaison.
The two volunteers are now in Tampa, with Hitchens leaving tomorrow. They all expect to be deployed a minimum of two weeks. Chattanooga's Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) is on standby.
With Tropical Storm Isaac expected to hit Florida in the next few days the Red Cross is preparing to respond as needed by moving hundreds of trained disaster workers to Florida and preparing to open dozens of shelters across the state.
The Red Cross has 22 emergency response vehicles already in Florida and is moving 28 more into the area in advance of Isaac. Another 78 vehicles are on stand-by, along with five truckloads of disaster supplies and clean-up items like rakes, shovels and tarps to send to Florida.
Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship additional emergency supplies if necessary. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners like the Southern Baptist Convention and NAACP to coordinate response plans.