York countians among Red Cross volunteers helping Florence, Michael victims

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Michael Williams, 70, looks for help from passing motorists for food and water as downed trees prevent him from driving out of his damaged home in the aftermath of hurricane Michael with his family in Springfield, Fla., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. "I don't know what I'm going to do," said Williams. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region deployed 112 volunteers to disaster areas in the wake of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael. 

Forty-five of those are still deployed, and three of those still deployed are from York County: two are helping in the areas hit by Florence, and one is helping in the areas hit by Michael.

The Red Cross sent the volunteers after Florence hit the Carolinas in early September and after Michael made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm on Oct. 10.

"There's still a lot of areas that we can't get into yet because of the damage," said Dan Tobin, spokesman for the Red Cross, referring to the impact of Hurricane Michael. "I think the full extent of the damage still isn't known in the Florida area because of that."

Tobin said the organization's first concern after a disaster is making sure people have food and safe shelter. After those primary needs are met, the Red Cross will meet one-on-one with families and individuals to develop a recovery plan.

More:Hurricane blamed for 16 deaths in Florida alone

More:PHOTOS: Hurricane Michael wreaks havoc on Florida Panhandle

Without volunteers, Tobin said the Red Cross would not only lose its ability to assist in major national emergencies, it also wouldn't be able to continue its work on the local level, such as responding to fires that displace families in York County.

"Without our volunteers, the Red Cross couldn't function," Tobin said. "They are just a wonderful group of people who are so caring and compassionate and they want to help others."

More:Bailey Coach collects supplies for Hurricane Florence relief

In addition to volunteering, York County residents who want to help out can make a monetary donation, or they can donate blood.

For more information, visit redcross.org.