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American Red Cross preparing for Hurricane Irma

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-As Hurricane Irma makes its way to the U.S., volunteers here at home are standing by. The American Red Cross of Northern Indiana is monitoring the storm closely as they prepare to send a team to Florida.

For the last 10 days, 9 disaster volunteers from the chapter located in South Bend have been working in Texas and Louisiana, helping those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Executive Director, Sue Gulley, says approximately 60 Red Cross volunteers in Texas are from Indiana.

With Hurricane Irma moving in, the organization is mobilizing resources and planning to send a team to Florida.

"We always have pre-positioned material resources as well as try to get personnel into those areas before landfall," Gulley said. "In Michiana, I think we've got half a dozen or so people ready to roll down to Florida and Orlando is the first spot we will try to get people into," Gulley said.

Overall, the American Red Cross deployed 4,000 volunteers to Texas. 35,000 people have been placed in 200 shelters that the organization built. Gulley expects 120,000 evacuees need to be housed from Hurricane Irma. But, they won't have an official number until the storm hits.

The Red Cross appreciates community support, but is strictly for monetary donations. 

"We want to have our dollars go where they are needed, when they're needed and for whom they're needed," Gulley said. "It boosts the local economy, which is so necessary after a disaster," Gulley said.

Here are some ways you can make a donation:

  • Visit www.redcross.org
  • Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief
  • Call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669)
  • You can drop off a donation to the Northern Indiana Chapter's office, located at 220 W. Colfax Avenue, Floor 5, South Bend. 
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