Volunteers prepare for Hurricane Florence, stand ready to help evacuees

Volunteers prepare for Hurricane Florence, stand ready to help evacuees
Updated: Sep. 12, 2018 at 9:23 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus, GA (WTVM) - With Governor Nathan Deal calling a state of emergency for all 159 counties in Georgia, the resources are moving smoothly for cities and towns to share their manpower and supplies.

The declaration also allows groups like the West Central Georgia Red Cross to prepare, and even alerting groups like Paws Humane to do what it can to help the most vulnerable.

"Since Saturday, we've been in a very proactive, 'leaning forward' position," said Adelaide Kirk, executive director for the West Central Georgia Red Cross office.

Cars, supplies, and volunteer, Kirk said, are ready to deploy wherever they're most needed once Hurricane Florence collides with the East Coast. Kirk also said two local volunteers are already in Macon waiting to see how Florence's track changes.

She said volunteers and staff will then head towards South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, to be there in the coming weeks as we help them through the recovery process.

According to Kirk, there are currently no shelters open in Georgia. When it comes to opening up shelters, whether in Muscogee County or across the state, the Red Cross will only staff and open doors to a building when Georgia's emergency management agency asks it to do so.

Shelter animals, vulnerable to Florence's impact, are also on the list of priorities for animal groups like PAWS Humane in Columbus. CEO Bobbi Yeo said the shelter is ready to bring in 80 cats and dogs, much like the staff did during Hurricane Irma.

"We work with a partner called Florida Urgent Rescue," Yeo said, "they're bringing six dogs out, four will get on a plane in Atlanta, and two, my husband is going to pick up in just a little bit."

Part of Deal's declaration encourages all Georgians to "be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas." 

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