Connecticut volunteers were on location in the Carolinas on Saturday afternoon, ready to help with disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Florence.
Laurie Robinson, Milford, is very familiar with the havoc wreaked by severe storms in Connecticut. She joined the Red Cross as a volunteer after receiving aid when her home was wrecked by Superstorm Sandy. She and several other Connecticut-based Red Cross volunteers drove Emergency Response Vehicles to North Carolina in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.
“I’m out here paying it forward,” she said in a phone call with NBC Connecticut from a Red Cross base in Greenville, NC. On Saturday afternoon, they were standing by, ready to deliver needed supplies to evacuees. Their trucks were loaded with food, water, comfort kits, and blankets, she said.
According to the Red Cross, more than 17,100 people were spread through more than 240 Red Cross shelters by midnight on Friday.
Stamford-based Americares also had crews on the ground delivering medical supplies. Kate Dischino, Vice President of Emergency Programs for Americares, said her crews were seeing demand for sanitary products.
“Our team has been delivering such basic hygiene products as toothpaste, soap and diapers to be able to give folks who are evacuated some comfort,” she said.
Both the Red Cross and Americares stressed that the best way for people to help with disaster relief is through financial donations.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection issued a warning last week reminding people to be wary of potential scams and to donate to trusted organizations.
The road to recovery after natural disasters is a long one. Robinson, who spent years living in a trailer following Superstorm Sandy, offered simple advice for Florence’s survivors.
“Be very patient, it’s a long process,” she said.