VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Strong winds and rains have already hit parts of Puerto Rico and other Islands east of Florida, forcing many to evacuate and make preparations for Hurricane Irma.
"Now that Irma is making some activity, some of the focus is shifting to prepping for sheltering," Terri Jenkins, Executive Director.
Nearly 100 volunteers are still in Texas for Hurricane Harvey Recovery.
Now hundreds are on standby, to assist with Irma just a few weeks later.
"This is the first time in my directorship that this has happened. Being deployed last year with Hermine and Matthew, we did see some of the shifting in resources," said Jenkins.
The Red Cross is preparing to shelter close to 120,000 people displaced or evacuating from Irma.
"A lot of people are on standby to deploy, and we have resources throughout the state that are willing to come to Valdosta, should we get impacted like we did a year ago," said Jenkins.
During Hermine, South Georgia had five shelters open near the Florida, Georgia line, housing nearly 2,000 people.
A shelter in Valdosta has already been inspected and given the go ahead for whenever it needs to be opened.
"To make sure everything is up to code and speed on availability and resources. Volunteers are contacted to say hey there is a possibility here to open shelters," said Jenkins.
Paige Dukes, the Lowndes County PIO said because the track shifted a little bit east they are in fear of having bad weather so the shelters that could open will only be open for locals first and not evacuees.
If they don't end up having bad weather they will open the shelters for everyone.
The call will be made on that closer to the weekend.
For more information about volunteer opportunities you can call 229-242-7404.
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