Idaho Red Cross prepares to deploy more volunteers to help hurricane victims

Posted at 5:09 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 19:09:43-04

The Idaho Red Cross is gearing up to send more volunteers to the areas impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Justin Hacking just returned from South Carolina where he was helping people in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Hacking served as a disaster mental health counselor talking with people at different shelters who lost so much in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

"I saw a lot of frustrated people, they were angry," said Hacking. "But with me, it was trying to form a short relationship trying to invest them in the idea that coping takes place in the here and now, you want to think about oh my gosh I lost everything and what am I going to do, that is overwhelming."

Hacking said there were positives such as working together with a dedicated team from the Red Cross, learning different techniques from other mental health counselors and watching the resiliency of the people of South Carolina.

However, those people are now dealing with Hurricane Michael that was downgraded to a tropical storm, but it is still bringing rain and more flooding to the Carolinas.

"I honestly don't understand how that is going to work out," said Hacking.

One way that people in Idaho can help is by donating blood because blood drives were shut down because of the hurricane in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas the national supply is running thin.

"We are counting on people not affected by the storms to come out and give blood," said Jake Reines of the Boise American Red Cross. "Every two seconds someone needs blood and we have to collect about 16,000 units per day to meet our hospital demands."

Here is a link to a website with more info on how to donate blood.

Another way people can help is to donate to the Red Cross relief fund, here is a link to that website.