Local Red Cross volunteer checks in from east coast


After arriving in Richmond, Virginia, Wednesday, Red Cross Ohio Buckeye Region volunteer Kitty Stephens says anticipation is mounting ahead of Hurricane Florence.

"It's kind of a chaotic situation because everybody's coming in," she said. "Nobody really knows what they're doing yet."

Thursday morning, Stephens says volunteers from all across the United States checked in and received their job and location instructions.

"People get kind of anxious about what's next," she said. "As a mental health case manager, we really spent a lot of time with staff just trying to calm them down and help them to get to their next step."

Stephens says she and her crew then went about 51 miles southeast to Williamsburg, Virginia.

"The storm has kind of shifted a little bit, so we've had to spend the whole day kind of figuring out where to go next," she said.

Now, Stephens says volunteers are being told to stay put and they have to check-in every six hours while Florence makes its way to them.

"We are now on a lock-down," she said. "We have to stay where we're at. All Red Crossers have to be in a shelter or in their location from 5:00 p.m. until [Friday] morning."

She says with the preparations taken Thursday, including outreach to local communities and checking in on the needs of local shelters, teams are ready for the oncoming storm.

"Absolutely," she said. "We have people on standby, still. The shelters are staffed with people. We're ready for whatever needs to happen."