Five volunteers with the American Red Cross of Hawaii — four from Oahu, one from Kauai — are being deployed to help tens of thousands of people in the path of Hurricane Dorian. They will be assisting with mental health, sheltering, planning and logistics.
Currently, the storm continues to strengthen and is taking aim at the southeast coast of the United States. While the exact path of Dorian is still uncertain, 19 million people live in areas that could be impacted, and as many as 50,000 people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina may need emergency shelter.
As the storm passed over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday night, as many as 265 people sought refuge in 70 government and community shelters.
Hurricane Dorian is now expected to hit Florida even harder than previously thought, prompting a widened state of emergency. The hurricane has the potential to make landfall on Monday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, (131 to 155 mph) and could be the strongest direct hit to Florida’s east coast since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
The Red Cross encourages all families to make a disaster plan to include an evacuation plan with two different routes of escape, a communications plan to help families reconnect after disaster, and a disaster supplies kit that is readily available to aid in a quick evacuation.
Information on developing a family plan is available to the public at redcross.org/hawaii.