Local American Red Cross needs volunteers in preparation for Hurricane Matthew

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – As Hurricane Matthew inches closer to the east coast, volunteers in Florence are ready to respond.

The Pee Dee chapter of the American Red Cross has been on standby throughout the week.

“We have potential shelters on standby in case anyone needs to be evacuated from the coast,” said Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist Stefanie Pratt.

But there is one problem; the American Red Cross needs more volunteers.

“There is only two disaster paid staff for our chapter, any help is needed,” Pratt added.

“If you not prepared you going to be in a bad situation,” said Red Cross volunteer Richard Schafer.

Schafer has been a volunteer with the Pee Dee chapter of the American Red Cross for more than eight years. Schafer was a volunteer in Lake City during last year’s October flood.

“Lake City was totally surrounded by water. You couldn’t get in or out. It was us and the Florence Emergency Services there,” explained Schafer.

During the historic flood more than 600 Red Cross volunteers were on the ground, providing food, water and relief supplies throughout the state.

“It’s giving back to the community and giving back to the public,” mentioned Schafer.

Florence County Emergency Services and the American Red cross will be working around the clock to help those in the path of Hurricane Matthew if it hits our area.

“The threat for this storm is wind and rain. The last projection I saw was three to five inches. We have to keep looking at this storm as it would change any minute,” said Andrew Golden, Florence County Emergency Public Information Officer. also advise people to secure their property if they plan to evacuate.

Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist Stefanie Pratt also advise people to secure their property if they plan to evacuate.