Cincinnati Red Cross sending help to east coast in preparation for Hurricane Irene

The Cincinnati Region of the American Red Cross is deploying two Emergency Response Vehicle's in response to the expected landfall of Hurricane Irene.

A total of four volunteers - two in Cincinnati and two in Dayton - are leaving Wednesday afternoon to head to Garner, N.C. to get ready to help storm victims.

Hurricane Irene could make landfall along the eastern shores later this week with winds gusting as high as 150 mph, and the American Red Cross is getting ready for a full East Coast response by preparing shelters for evacuees, pre-positioning numerous emergency response vehicles and disaster supplies, and mobilizing disaster workers to parts of the country expected to see impact from this large storm.

"This storm is getting stronger as it moves toward the East Coast and people who live in or are vacationing in areas that could see its impact need to get ready now," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "We urge them to take the threat of Irene seriously and finalize their hurricane preparations and get their emergency kits ready."

Red Cross chapters from Florida to Virginia are working with local and state officials to prepare for the storm's arrival.

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