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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Volunteers from the Philadelphia area are already in the danger zone, ready to respond however is needed when Hurricane Florence hits.
Hundreds of volunteers from around the country have traveled to the Carolinas in advance of this massive storm, hoping to be there to help those in need. Red Cross officials from the area are among them, never hesitating to step into action when the storm hits.
“It’s just blue skies, little bit of clouds, winds are starting to pick back up, but you would not know this storm is coming,” said Guy Triano with Philadelphia’s Red Cross.
It’s the calm before the storm for Triano in Columbia, South Carolina with the sunny skies, but the weather radar shows something much more ominous barreling toward the Carolinas as Florence inches closer and closer to the coast.
“We’re prepared for it and we’re ready to take on whatever happens,” said Triano.
Triano and his team left Philadelphia on Wednesday to join other crews in South Carolina.
“As we speak right now, we have 51 shelters open right now in the state of South Carolina, and just shy of 4,000 individuals that are in these shelters and that storm again isn’t going to hit here until later on this evening,” said Triano. “We anticipate that number to double and even triple.”
Red Cross officials are urging folks who are in imminent danger of the hurricane’s path to be prepared, to have a hurricane evacuation plan in place. They’re also preparing folks inland in places like Columbia to expect the unexpected when it comes to the storm’s aftermath.
“What’s alarming is what’s gonna be the amount of rainfall,” said Triano. “The real work by everyone is going to be after this once the storm passes. We’re gonna have to go out on the ground and assess the damages.”
Triano said that during the storm he will be at the Emergency Management Center, as well as out and about in the field, assessing the needs of South Carolina residents. Red Cross officials are urging residents to go to their website and also use their app to get the very latest information on shelter locations and storm preps.