CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Resources from West Virginia and counties in a few surrounding states are already either in Florida or heading there soon.

There are four emergency response vehicles from the Central Appalachia Region of the American Red Cross helping in the area impacted by Ian. There are also numerous volunteers and staff members.

“I don’t take a whole lot of time to get ready,” said Eddie Helphinstine, Armed Forces Manager for the Red Cross-Central Appalachia Region. “So pack a bag, make phone calls to identify transportation, and then just move out. My wife is pretty used to it.”

There are already nine volunteers on the ground in Florida from the Central Appalachian Region with more heading that way as soon as it is safe to travel. Helphinstine will be one of them. He has helped with many disasters already this year including the floods in eastern Kentucky.

“There will be lots of hurricane force winds, and they do a lot of damage. But especially once you get away from the coast, the high water from the torrential rain is typically what causes the most damage, and we see that in Appalachia with flash flooding,” Helphinstine said.

Teams were already in place and ready ahead of the storm, but the need will continue for weeks to come. Red Cross Central Appalachia Regional Chief Executive Erica Mani will be headed to the affected region soon to lend a hand.

“The aftermath of a hurricane is shockingly similar looking to the aftermath of flooding,” Mani said. “We know what that looks like right here on the ground in West Virginia. Our team is very sensitive to being there to help others because so many people came in to help us after our big floods.”

The Red Cross is looking for more volunteers to help with the disaster response to Hurricane Ian. For anyone who would like to help and is not already trained, the Red Cross can help get the required training within a week. A typical Red Cross deployment is about two weeks.

“When you see all of the people that are in the shelters and all of the needs that everybody including the Red Cross and all of the partners have to work together to cover, we can’t do enough to help these people,” Mani said.

Other ways to help include donating blood and donating money. Individuals can go to, call 800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.