Madison volunteers prepare to help with Hurricane Florence

MADISON (WKOW) — Many Red Cross volunteers are in North Carolina, getting ready to help those in need as Hurricane Florence hits.

In Madison, others are getting ready for their turn to help.

“We’re the next, we’re the: ‘Okay what do we need to do to respond to the people that are affected by the disasters’,” Judy Giacomino, one of the volunteers, said.

This will be Giacomino’s 15th mission with the Red Cross.

She and June Shakhashiri spent the last three weeks helping flooded communities in our area.

With the stationary nature of Florence, they expect to see a similar situation on the East Coast.

“I do think that some of the experience that folks had here working on that, directly translates to what could happen going into the next few days and next few weeks,” Justin Kern with the Red Cross said.

The volunteers already there are currently helping evacuees, but this next group will be there to assess the next steps of recovery.

However, they’ll have to be flexible.

“Right now we’re assigned to do DA, which is damage assessment,” Shakhashiri said. “When we get there we might be pulled off to get started doing something else for a while.”

Even though they’ll be going out of the frying pan and into the fryer, flooding-wise, the volunteers say they can’t afford to feel fatigue.

“Well we just work till it’s done,”Giacomino said. “We probably work 18 hour days – we don’t quit when we’re tired, we quit when it’s done.”

Once the rain stops, it will have to be all hands on deck.

“One of us can’t get the job done, it’s going to take thousands of us to get in there and accomplish what needs to be done,” Shakhashiri said.

The Red Cross says it can not handle physical supply donations, like clothes, but if you want to help out, it will gladly accept monetary and blood donations.

Francisco Almenara

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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