Chicago volunteers head to Florida in aftermath of Ian

The American Red Cross estimates there are 13,000 people in shelters in Florida after Hurricane Ian ripped through the state Wednesday.

Now, more trained volunteers from Chicago are on the way.

Red Cross officials say thousands of emergency vehicles loaded with supplies were positioned in Florida before Ian made landfall.

Chicago area volunteers are on the move, ready to provide service to the people impacted by the hurricane and tropical storm. 

The CEO of the American Red Cross Illinois Region, Celena Roldan, says at least 10 volunteers from the Illinois region are on their way to Florida to join the more than 900 volunteers already providing aid. 

They provide supplies that are in immediate need like food, water, shelter, blankets, cots, medicine and counseling. In addition, the Red Cross and its volunteers provide cleanup supplies and recovery plans.

There are over 100 active shelters in Florida supported by the American Red Cross. Other volunteers are on the ground providing health services and mental health support. 


"The American Red Cross will be there as long as we are needed, and we know that we are going to be there for months. This is going to be a very long recovery," Roldan said. 

Due to logistical challenges, Red Cross officials say the best way the public can help is to make a monetary donation.

Red Cross officials say volunteers are needed here in Illinois and blood donations are very helpful at this time.