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San Diegans prepare to assist Hurricane victims

Posted at 11:55 AM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 15:01:26-04

San Diego (KGTV)- While millions are bracing for Hurricane Dorian, San Diegans are preparing to take part in relief efforts. Volunteers and first responders are making their way to the impacted areas.

A handful of American Red Cross volunteers left Monday. Twelve others are already getting their assignments in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

“This is a major response for us,” says Sean Mahoney, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross. “We sent 99 semi-trucks full of sheltering equipment, cots, blankets, and everything needed for folks when they’re put out of their homes.”

Mahoney also left Monday heading to the Carolinas. In total, 16 volunteers from the San Diego area are assigned to help with relief efforts, but more are ready to go if needed.

“We have 22-hundred volunteers in the San Diego and Imperial counties region. They’re all checking their status, just making sure that they have the qualifications needed.”

Volunteers would assist with mass care, feeding, and shelter.

The San Diego Urban Search and Rescue team spent the morning loading up supplies. After a morning conference call with FEMA, David Gerboth says the team could be called to the east coast.

“They are looking at mobilizing additional search and rescue teams now from the west coast,” says Gerboth. “So we’re configuring our cache to be able to mobilize at a moments notice.”

The team is prepared to spend at least a week on the east coast, assisting victims with search and rescue, collapsed structures, and more.

The San Diego Urban Search and Rescue team has already sent five members to assist with logistics. Those helping with storm relief would typically drive to the impacted areas. But this time around, if they are called out, first responders will fly to get there by the time the storm makes landfall.

“We know when we go and help our friends on the east coast, they’re also ready to come in case we need it on the west coast.”