The National Hurricane Center has declared Hurricane Irma to be a Category 5 hurricane.
They say it could be “catastrophic” for the Carribean Islands, but Florida is also on their radar.
While it is too early to predict how much danger the U.S. is in, the American Red Cross is already preparing for disaster.
Davenport resident Pete Schlicksup will leave Wednesday morning for Orlando, Florida. He will be joining other Red Cross volunteers and wait in Orlando until they know what is to come from Irma.
Schlicksup has dedicated his retirement to giving back. The 70-year-old was deployed to Colorado in 2013 to help with massive flooding. Now, he is ready to put his skills to work again.
“I’ve just had a pretty fortunate life and been pretty lucky so I’m taking the opportunity to give back,” said Schlicksup.
Amber Wood, Executive Director of the Regional Red Cross in Moline, says they are monitoring Irma closely to decide their best plan of action.
“The volunteer needs are changing every day for both the Harvey response and even pre-positioning for the Hurricane Irma,” said Wood.
Wood says the American Red Cross reserved about half of their resources after hurricane Harvey to stay well-prepared for other disasters during “hurricane season.”
There are over 500,000 Red Cross volunteers nationwide, and over 3,000 disaster volunteers are currently in Texas.
Here in the Quad Cities, two volunteers are already headed to Florida, and tomorrow Schlicksup will be the third.
This weekend the Red Cross chapter in Moline will hold a “Just-In-Time” training session for new volunteers. It will help volunteers get the proper disaster training necessary to be deployed quickly.
There are only 30 seats available for the class and registration is required. You can find out more on the class and how to donate to the American Red Cross here.