Hurricane Michael is the third-strongest hurricane to make landfall in U.S. history, according to the American Red Cross. Yet because of the support already extended to survivors of Hurricane Florence, those who donated both money and time may be stretched thin to give more.
“It’s a little difficult because so many people who came from Florence,” said Michel Michelsen Lee of American Red Cross’ Glens Falls office. “They need to charge their personal battery.”
New York sent had 250 residents down to help with Hurricane Florence and 50 so far have traveled to support the Hurricane Michael region, according to Kim Ventor, a Red Cross spokeswomen.
From eastern New York, including the Glens Falls region, 74 volunteers traveled to the Carolinas for Hurricane Florence and 14 are still there. As of Friday, six people were responding to Hurricane Michael’s impact area. Two of those six previously responded to Hurricane Florence.
“I think that we are fortunate that we do have a lot of very dedicated volunteers that want to go out frequently,” Ventor said. “… We do have people that want to answer that call.”
Most deployments last about two weeks. Those volunteers who responded to Florence returned just a few weeks ago.
“In terms of manpower, it certainly is still a stretch,” Ventor said. “… It is really inspiring to see how much people step up to help, but we always welcome new people to help us, get trained and get some experience.”
Some volunteers who may have had time conflicts for Hurricane Florence are available now.
Donations are a worry, too.
Red Cross officials are hoping residents have compassion left over for the victims of Hurricane Michael, despite the lack of time to recover since Florence.
“People have been very generous for financial support for Florence victims,” Ventor said. “Now there is a whole new group of people that is in need of support. Donors may feel they are a little bit strapped. I am hoping people will still find it in their heart to donate.”