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How volunteers from Richmond are helping get ready for Hurricane Dorian

Posted at 8:00 PM, Aug 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 20:01:26-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Volunteers with the American Red Cross in Richmond have been dispatched to Florida to help with Hurricane Dorian preps as the powerful Category 4 storm's path continues to shift.

"It's controlled chaos," said Debbie Watson with the Red Cross.

Watson said 21 Red Cross volunteers from Richmond have been sent to help in case Dorian hits.

"This is my fifth deployment. I was down here in Florida with Micheal last year in Tallahassee working with the Red Cross," Watson said.

"We're looking at the pre-storm and how to go ahead and set up shelters to help people that will need to be evacuated," added Watson.

Debbie Watson

Debbie Watson

Watson said volunteers have set up seven shelters in the Jacksonville area.

"Jacksonville itself is very quiet, but people in Florida have been through a lot of hurricanes," Watson said. "But from a Red Cross point of view, again there's a lot of activity, assigning people to the shelters, how many do you need."

Seven shelters that would house between 1300 to 1700 evacuated people for a short period of time.

Example of shelters.

Example of shelters.

"There will be two phases. One is the evacuation shelter then once the storm hits, those shelters can become regular Red Cross shelters that you see in the news," said Watson. "That will have feeding and cots and all of that."

Watson said they've also sent people to Georgia to help prepare for evacuations and the hurricane that she hopes won't strike.

"Let's hope it makes a huge U-turn and goes back out to sea," said Watson.