Over 30 American Red Cross volunteers from the Capital Region already deployed to the Carolinas and Virginia to help with hurricane relief efforts. On Friday, several more are on standby ready to lend a hand.

“For the average person, it’s probably some of the toughest conditions you will work in your life,” Peter A. Poccia, a Red Cross Volunteer & Nurse, said.

Veteran Red Cross volunteers like Poccia to sign up time and time again to help out after hurricanes.

He says while the work is rewarding, navigating a stressful and developing disaster like Hurricane Florence is never easy.

“There’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of uncertainty. They lived in a perfectly stable situation and now it’s gone.

When Poccia and other volunteers go into an area devastated by a hurricane, they first have to set up shelters and stock them with supplies and equipment so they’re ready to lend a hand.

The Red Cross’s response goes beyond the physical. Now in 2018, they can also make a big difference from behind a screen.

“Social media has really escalated in terms of how people use it to get help in an emergency,” Kimmy Venter, Chief Communications Officer Red Cross Eastern NY, said. “Yeah, this time last year I was in Florida because of hurricane Irma. I was getting messages, saying you know, here I am, where’s the nearest shelter?”

As Hurricane Florence closed in on the coast of the Carolinas early Friday morning, the tweets came rolling in.

Officials say even a category one storm can create serious devastation.

“The fact that the wind went down slightly does not mean there’s not gonna be massive amounts of rain everywhere. They’re still talking about the same 20, 30, or 40 inches of rain, which will cause tremendous flooding,” Gary Striar, CEO Red Cross Eastern NY, said.

The Red Cross says that during natural disasters like Hurricane Florence, they often receive calls from the community asking if anyone needs clothing or food donations. If you want to help, they say consider making a monetary donation or donating blood.