Red Cross sends more Alaskans to help with Florence recovery
The American Red Cross is working around the clock to provide safe shelter and comfort for the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by former Hurricane Florence as the threat from the devastating storm continues.
As of right now, 19 Red Cross volunteers from Alaska are on the ground, along with 23,000 other volunteers with the Red Cross nationwide.
Two more Alaskans got the call Monday morning to come help.
"Right after I got the call, I just really started jumping into motion," said Cari Dighton, communications officer for the Red Cross of Alaska. "Your mind snaps into, 'okay know I need to get my flights. I need to make sure I have all of my gear ready to go', so once you get the call, you have 24 hours to be on the plane so really it's quick."
Dighton is flying into a situation with 1,200 roads closed by flood waters and people who are still stranded.
With more than two feet of rain in some areas, North Carolina's governor calls it a monumental disaster and warns there's more to come.
This will be Dighton's first natural disaster; she's mentally preparing herself for what she might see on the trip.
"I know I will see some tough things and I'll see some folks that are probably going through one of the worst days of their life, but just being there for them and being that shoulder to cry on is what I can do," said Dighton.
On top of that, she's been packing her bag to get ready to go.
"So, I'll take camera tripods all those regular things like technology and lots of chargers," said Dighton. "Blankets and sleeping bags and then also you have to pack what to wear. So, it's very rainy it's also very hot and humid so thinking about T-shirt's, light clothes, boots and rain jackets are good."
While the damage continues to impact many people across the state, Dighton expects more Alaskans will answer the call to help by volunteering their time or donations.
"Alaskans are great, we saw that last year with the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Texas," said Dighton. "There's a huge uptake from this area as well as people who are generous. They're definitely making a difference."
If you would like to donate you can find donation links at the Red Cross website.
So far, there are more than 15,000 people who have sought refuge in Red Cross and community shelters.
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