Red Cross gains more volunteers as NC preparations underway for Isaias

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Preparations are underway as North Carolina braces for what Hurricane Isaias will bring to the Carolina coast.

CBS17 reported on Thursday the Red Cross was seeking volunteers as many people say they don’t feel comfortable being face-to-face during a pandemic.

“Most of our work is going to be done virtually but we have to have client facing opportunities when people are coming to the shelters,” said Barry Porter with the Red Cross.

Within the last day, Porter says he has seen an uptick in the number of volunteers willing to help out even with COVID-19 looming, and even though state officials are urging people to stay with friends or family rather than shelter Porter says they have to be prepared.

“We had 23 new volunteers register yesterday. We have, I think, about 140 people assigned to the job and about half of those are forward facing people that are going to put their mask on, put their gloves on, and will be interacting with clients as soon as the storms get closer,” said Porter.

Porter says right now those volunteers are being divided into groups and are prepping to cover about 20 counties, but can be moved depending on when and where the greatest impact will hit. 

“This is a changing storm, it’s the first storm to come to our shores, and this is going to be a learning process for everyone.”

The Red Cross is urging people to have emergency kits ready and to listen to evacuation orders. Porter says even if the impact is small, it’s good to be prepared and learn these methods for future storms.

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