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Red Cross Deploys Iowa Volunteers to Hurricane Florence Preparation

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Thirty American Red Cross volunteers are deploying from Iowa Tuesday to help with Hurricane Florence preparations

They are just a few of the more than 700 en route.

"Right now we are ramping up the number of volunteers we have throughout the region. This is going to be an extremely intense storm with winds up to I believe 140 mph, tidal surges could reach as high as 12 feet. This is not going to be something where you're going to be safe if you move inland because there could be as much as 30 inches worth of rain as well," American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Keith Kuperman said.

Bill Hawk and Jerry Mason are making the roughly 16-hour trek to Richmond, Virginia.

They are expected to make it there ahead of the storm in an emergency response vehicle.

"It can do multiple tasks hauling water, food items, clean up kits things like that. Then it can also be used as delivery to take hot food to churches or schools and or we can do a individual disbursement of the foods in neighborhoods," Hawk said.

Both volunteers said they are happy to help those in need.

"It's always sad of course. Really a lot of people lose everything," Mason said.

He said they want to do whatever they can to speed up the recovery process for hurricane victims, even if it's just handing out simple things like food and water.

"They really look forward to like when we are delivering meals, they just like to see you. It cheers them up and recognizing the same people again," Mason said.

If you'd like to help the relief effort for Hurricane Florence, you can go to RedCross.org to either donate or sign up to volunteer.