MOBILE, Ala. — About 50 Red Cross volunteers from Northeast Florida have deployed this hurricane season to help with storm prep and relief for areas impacted by storms. And as Delta inches closer to the U.S. coast, one local is running operations in Alabama and Mississippi.
“We were lucky this year," local Red Cross volunteer Jack Morgan said.
With Northeast Florida catching a break so far this hurricane season, Morgan left Jacksonville Tuesday to head west a second time this year to help states in the path of a storm.
“Just like Laura, we don't know what's going to happen. So, I gotta be prepared," he explained.
Morgan is Chief of Staff for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Operation headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. He’s been busy – focused on client needs.
“We've put teams together, we're sending supplies, and they're actually leaving today to go over to Mississippi," Morgan said.
His number one priority right now is connecting people with shelter -- in one of their six facilities in Mississippi before Hurricane Delta hits -- a task which has to overcome COVID-19 challenges.
“So, at the shelter that we'd say today we would put in 100-125 -- that is the exact same space that we probably would have put in 240 people, but because of COVID, we spread it out, give them more distance," Morgan explained.
On the upside, he said the pandemic has also created new opportunities for those interested in volunteering with virtual deployments.
According to Morgan, about 1/4 of the people deployed right now for Hurricane Delta are virtual red cross volunteers. They are doing tasks such as shelter support and case management.