Red Cross volunteers from Wisconsin helping with disaster recovery in Florida, Alaska, Puerto Rico


MADISON, Wis. — Six American Red Cross volunteers and one employee from Wisconsin have been deployed to various parts of the country to help with disaster recovery efforts in the wake of two tropical systems and as Hurricane Ian eyes Florida’s gulf coast.

Of those, four volunteers have been sent to Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian’s expected landfall late this week, Laura McGuire, the regional communications manager for the American Red Cross’ Wisconsin region, said in an email Monday afternoon. In total, hundreds of disaster workers from across the country are being sent to the state ahead of the storm.

The Red Cross is preparing to open hurricane evacuation shelters if the need arises.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center from Monday evening shows Hurricane Ian strengthening into a major hurricane before making landfall later in the week. The agency is warning of the possibility of possibly life-threatening storm surge along much of the state’s western coast.

Another volunteer and a Red Cross employee from the Badger State have been deployed to Puerto Rico, where many areas remain without power after Hurricane Fiona hit more than a week ago, and one Wisconsin volunteer was sent to Alaska following Typhoon Merbok.

Download the First Warn Weather app to stay up-to-date on current weather conditions and the latest forecast.