7:09 PM EDT, August 24, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac hasn't touched Florida yet, but the American Red Cross is preparing for the possibility that high winds will cause major problems there. Friday, volunteers from our region headed south to be in place before the storm comes ashore.
When Charles Krystynak retired two years ago, he decided it was time to volunteer. His work with the American Red Cross took him to Alleghany County after the derecho in late July, but this is the first time he's travelling to join a Red Cross relief effort in another part of the country.
"It's devastating to lose your home, and everything that you have," Charles Krystynak told WDBJ7, "so it's good to be there for them, provide them a nice safe warm shelter, a place to stay and food to eat."
Headed to Tampa, Krystynak is just part of the first wave. Like the relief workers who were pressed into service after Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, Red Cross volunteers are on standby in case they're needed down south.
Amy Whittaker is the Public Affairs Director for the Roanoke Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. "We can't do what we do without these volunteers and it's their dedication, their willingness to go," she said. "So we've been calling down our volunteers for the past couple of days and trying to see what their availability is, and we have a lot of them who are prepared to go, they're just waiting on the call."
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