Local Red Cross chapter sends team to SC for hurricane relief

JACKSON, Tenn. — Local volunteers with the American Red Cross headed to the East Coast Thursday ahead of Hurricane Florence.

“After 20 years in the Navy, this is just another way of serving,” Dennis Lee, a volunteer, said.

Lee deployed Thursday to South Carolina. He is one of up to seven local Red Cross volunteers headed east to help people affected by Hurricane Florence.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News asked Lee what he expects to see when he gets to South Carolina. “Mass chaos,” he responded.

David Hicks, executive director for the Midwest Chapter of the American Red Cross, said five volunteers left Thursday. He said two others are expected to leave this weekend.

“As you see the emergency response vehicle behind me, two of them will be driving this vehicle, and their primary purpose will be feeding,” Hicks said.

The group who left Thursday will work in a shelter, helping people forced to evacuate their homes.

“I’m supposed to be there to help calm people down, to make sure, tell them everything’s OK,” Jason Mutter, a Red Cross volunteer, said.

This is Mutter’s first deployment. “Preparing for the worst and expecting the best,” he said.

Volunteers plan to stay at least 14 days, but some could be there longer. “We’re just thrilled to be able to go,” Erika Creech, a Red Cross volunteer, said. “We’re glad we have a Red Cross chapter here that is so active.”

Lee said they will do everything from setting up cots to sweeping shelters. “We have to keep them safe and we have to keep them comfortable,” he said.

Hicks said they hope to get more volunteers over the next few days.

For information on how to donate to the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.

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