Central Ohio Red Cross volunteers make their way to Florida


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As Americans in the path of hurricane Matthew prepare for the worst, emergency response crews from the Greater Columbus area are headed down to the Southeast to provide assistance.

“We deployed out four people already in leadership positions,” said Ken Robinson, Buckeye Regional Disaster Officer with American Red Cross.

The Buckeye Region American Red Cross has crews headed to Louisiana, North Carolina and Florida.

Pam Blum from Circleville and Dick Waibel from Lancaster make up just one of several emergency response crews on the road headed to Orlando.

NBC4 spoke to Blum on the phone as the pair made their way through Kentucky.

“When I get the call my adrenaline just goes off the roof,” said Blum.

Blum, an experienced emergency response volunteer for the American Red Cross said she knew it was time to step into action when she got the call to head down to Florida this week. She says she’s responded to hurricanes before.

“I was in hurricane Sandy and I rode that out. And we were there for three weeks,” Blum said. “I think you are more in survival mode and you are doing things that need to be done. You immerse yourself in a disaster.”

When in Florida, Blum and Waibel will step into action, feeding families, or supplying necessities like blankets and water to those in need.

“You do whatever needs to be done and you eat it, sleep it, live it.”

It’s important to stay connected to your loved ones during emergencies.  The American Red Cross has an emergency response phone app that will alert you if your loved one is in need of help during hurricane Matthew or in any emergency situation.

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