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Red Cross volunteers from Virginia head South to help prepare for Dorian

RICHMOND, Va. — Nearly 30 Red Cross volunteers from the Richmond-area have been sent down to assist with local efforts in preparing for Hurricane Dorian.

In total, 28 volunteers from the American Red Cross Virginia Region are stationed across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

“That’s intentional so that we have Red Crossers in a variety of different places, so based on the track of the storm we can move them in to support those local Red Cross foundational efforts,” said spokesman Jonathan McNamara. “We want to make sure that our volunteers, our number one priority is safety first. So that we don’t want to put them, but also putting them in areas where they can support the various operations that are underway.”

Among the volunteers is Deborah Watson, who is serving as a food supervisor in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Everybody’s just focused on doing and making sure the client is going to be taken care of,” said Watson.

McNamara said in total, over 1,600 volunteers are coming from Red Cross agencies across the country.

“And that’s how serious we’re taking this. We’re planning for the absolute worst,” added McNamara.

He said that if people would like to help the Red Cross in their efforts he suggested one of two ways.

The first is to text “Dorian” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross.

The second is to donate blood.

“We need to be able to support those operations and make sure that hospitals across the Red Cross network and not just here in the Commonwealth, but across the country, have the blood that they need to support patients,” said McNamara.

He added that while it does not appear the Richmond-area will see the worst of Dorian, it serves as a good reminder to make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go and a household evacuation plan.

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