LOCAL NEWS

Utah Red Cross sends volunteers to Florida as Hurricane Ian closes in

Sep 27, 2022, 4:23 PM
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 27: People look out as clouds from the approaching Hurricane Ia...
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 27: People look out as clouds from the approaching Hurricane Ian darken the sky on September 27, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall in the Tampa Bay area Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The American Red Cross of Utah sent trained disaster volunteers and staff to Florida this week as the area prepares for the wrath of Hurricane Ian.

They’ll join more than 500 volunteers already in the area ready to respond.

Parts of the Gulf Coast were already experiencing a dangerous storm surge and powerful rains Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s landfall in Florida.

“The American Red Cross and our partners are working to be ready when and if people need to evacuate the area,” said Heidi Ruster, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region. “We have supplies and workers in place to make sure everyone impacted by the storm has a safe place to stay, food to eat, critical relief supplies, emotional support, and comfort in the face of this potentially devastating storm.”

The Red Cross said the Utah volunteers left last weekend and included Roosevelt resident Haydee Tapia; husband and wife volunteers Bonnie and David Kenison from Orem; and Jim Erickson, Red Cross of Utah disaster services manager.

“They will join other Red Crossers who are coordinating with community and government partners to ensure residents have the help they may need if the storm hits the area,” Ruster said. “When the disaster call goes out, our dedicated Utah team members never hesitate. We should all be proud of them.”

Ruster said the volunteers were gathering pallets of water, meals, and disaster cleanup kits for the relief effort.

You can help by donating money to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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Utah Red Cross sends volunteers to Florida as Hurricane Ian closes in