Red Cross Ready to Help Victims of Hurricane Irma

The organization still needs monetary donations to help those impacted by the hurricane

FARGO, N.D. — Eleven days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, another powerful hurricane takes aim at the United States.

Hurricane Irma is forecasted to be near South Florida early Sunday morning.  The storm is tracking to make a catastrophic landfall on U.S. soil sometime within the next seven days.

The Red Cross has volunteers deployed in the Southeast ready to help those affected by Irma.

“The American Red Cross is strong, and maybe people don’t realize that we are made up of a large volunteer workforce,” said Lynn Speral, CEO of the Dakotas Region Red Cross.  “Over 90 percent of our workforce is volunteer a lot of those people have been deployed.”

Hurricane Harvey devastated the gulf coast of Texas and the Red Cross responded by sending volunteers and equipment to that area.  Now, an even more dangerous hurricane is approaching the United States.

Irma is a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane.  Impacts made on landfall would be devastating.

“So you would get a lot of water coming in,” said Rob Kupec, KVRR Chief Meteorologist.  “Picture Hurricane Andrew, which was just a little weaker than that, which tore through the southern part of the state back in the 90s and did catastrophic damage.”

The people of the Red River Valley have answered the call when others are in need.

“When something like this happens, throughout the United States, that they come to the aid of others,” said Diane Atkins, a volunteer with the Red Cross.

The Red Cross has trained enough volunteers to cover bi–weekly shifts through mid–October.

The organization still needs monetary donations to help others when disaster strikes.

“If we were to send an influx of clothing and household items, that would actually be a detriment to the cleanup and recovery efforts.” said Speral.

The Red Cross would like to remind the public that they can always make a donation to their general relief fund to help victims of any disaster – locally or across the country.

To find out how you can make a donation to the Red Cross’s general disaster relief fund, click here.

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