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Colorado Red Cross Disaster workers in Florida to help as Hurricane Ian makes landfall

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Five Red Cross Disaster workers from Southern Colorado are on the ground in Florida just as Hurricane Ian made landfall.

At 1:05 p.m. our time, the Category 4 hurricane reached the coast of Florida near Cayo Costa with winds near 150 mph.

This storm comes after days of volunteers and workers across the country being on standby, ready to assist with hurricane relief efforts.

Wednesday, KRDO spoke with one Colorado volunteer who said this is the most prepared he's felt assisting in a natural disaster.

A week ago, Kim Mailes was put on standby to assist with relief efforts in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Fiona. Now, their attention has turned to Florida.

"This is my first deployment where I was brought in as an advance team getting ready for a storm," explained Mailes. "So that is a different experience for me."

Before Ian made landfall Wednesday, the Red Cross moved truckloads of additional cots, blankets, and comfort kits for tens of thousands of people.

"I hit the ground on Sunday, and so we have about 70 semi trucks that arrived in the last couple of days, our logistics people have been transferring the materials in those trucks such as cots, baby cribs, medical supplies, we been transferring those to medical vehicles that are scattered around," said Mailes.

Tuesday night, nearly 13,000 people slept in an American Red Cross and other evacuation shelters across Florida to escape the vicious hurricane.

While the full brunt of the storm hasn't reached where Mailes is, he said the situation is surreal. He said they know the disaster is coming, but they aren't panicking.

"It is not a frantic mood, it is just a mood full with adrenaline since we know it is coming," explained Mailes.

In addition to volunteers and workers, the Red Cross has also sent hundreds of blood products to Florida ahead of the storm. That's to ensure the patients have access to a readily available blood supply should they need it.

Southeastern Colorado Red Coss also has volunteers on standby to help with hurricane relief efforts. If they're called, they'll be on their way Friday.

If you'd like to help people affected by Hurricane Ian, click here.

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Jasmine Arenas


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