The Red Cross of Southern Missouri is coordinating volunteers to assist with the Red Cross national relief effort. The local chapter sent out two teams of volunteers Monday morning in response to Hurricane Dorian. Each team has two people and is intended to pick up an emergency response vehicle and head to the East Coast.

Stacy Burks, the Executive Director with American Red Cross of Southern Missouri, spoke to KTTS about the disaster relief plan, “Those two person teams will use the vehicles to provide food and other disaster response supplies to the residents who are impacted by the hurricane once it goes up the coast.”

Burks said that six other volunteers will be coordinating sheltering and logistics for the transport.

Most volunteers have deployments of around 10 to 14 days; and once those volunteers are planted, they won’t be leaving until the storm passes.

“We have some [volunteers] who are already there, who are in the shelters,” Burks said, “Last night we had over 2,600 people stay in 60 different red cross evacuation shelters that have already been opened […] and those who are already in place will stay in those shelters for when the storm comes.”

Nationwide the Red Cross has activated over 1,600 volunteers, 110 emergency response vehicles, and 99 tractor-trailer loads of relief supplies to assist with the need caused by Hurricane Dorian.

“[We work] to insure first and foremost that people have somewhere to shelter and then we insure they have food and supplies as necessary throughout the immediate duration of the storms,” Burks said, “Once those storms have passed we begin to work with other partners in the area to help folks recover and return to their homes, [and] clean out their homes.”

The Southern Missouri teams will work with other teams in their Emergency Response Vehicles to hand out hot meals after the disaster. The hot meals are prepared by groups such as the Salvation Army and Southern Baptist in cooperation with the Red Cross.

Burks said that those who wanted to volunteer with the Red Cross could go online to RedCross.org and click on ‘Volunteer’ in the corner. She also recommended that if anyone wants to donate, he or she make a financial donation, since the Red Cross can purchase supplies cheaper than retail price.

In order to donate financially you can call 1-800-Red-Cross, RedCross.org, or text REDCROSS to 9099.