Red Cross volunteers from NJ head to FL for Hurricane Michael relief

Posted: Updated:
FAIRFIELD -

The New Jersey chapter of the American Red Cross is getting ready to deploy the organization’s 100th volunteer in just a few weeks due to hurricane relief.

Volunteer Julie Daigle will head to Florida Friday to be a part of the Hurricane Michael relief effort.

"I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be able to actually go down and help make a difference with the Red Cross,” Daigle says.

Daigle says that she is looking forward to helping the victims of the storm get back on their feet.

HURRICANE MICHAEL: STORM INFORMATION | WEATHER CENTER | LOCAL RADAR | WATCH TRAFFIC AND WEATHER

“Most people never think they’re going to be part of a disaster, and once they get through that disbelief and you give them a hug, or cookie or blanket…and listen to their story…It's really that human connection for me that's the most powerful part of the Red Cross experience,” she says.

Both the Red Cross and FEMA say that they have been stretched thin between hurricanes Florence and Michael and three major storms last hurricane season.

RELATED: Florida Panhandle devastated by Hurricane Michael
MORE:
 NJ Task Force 1 heads to the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Michael impacts Florida

Red Cross regional CEO Rosie Taravella says that more than 85 volunteers have already been deployed to the Carolinas after Florence. She says that the agency’s two emergency response vehicles are already there and are likely going to head to Florida as well.

"We've worked with the local emergency officials to open shelters, or run shelters they've opened.  We are feeding people in those shelters. We are working with families with disaster assessment when they are able to go into homes and learn sadly what's lost,” she says.

Daigle says that once she is down in Florida, she will help victims assess the damage, start cleaning their homes and get them some warm meals.

Information about volunteering and making donations can be found on the Red Cross’s website.

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