Colorado Red Cross prepares response as Hurricane Maria strengthens

With Hurricane Maria's increasing strength -- the Red Cross here in Colorado says it's prepared to respond.

DENVER - After responding to the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, you would think that Hurricane Maria strengthening would have response teams worried.

The American Red Cross' Mile High chapter, however, said that couldn't be further from the truth. No matter how strong the hurricane gets -- it's currently a Category Five storm -- the group will respond the same.

The organization is already putting a plan together starting with moving its volunteers who are already in the path of Maria to safety.

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"We practice what we're preaching as far as giving people the guidance and what they need to prepare for another storm," Nigel Holderby, one of the group's regional communications directors, said.

Holderby returned not long ago from helping with hurricane recovery efforts but is already back in the office getting ready for the next disaster. For her, that means coordinating volunteers.

"If you're a Red Cross volunteer right now, you're potentially getting an e-mail from us that says, 'Have you updated your availability,'" Holderby said. The work in front of her is trying to figure out who the organization can deploy for a couple of weeks at a time.

"When you prepare in advance and you have a plan, you just kick into motion for what needs to happen next," she said.

The Red Cross won't know exactly what needs to happen until the Hurricane Maria starts making landfall. Once it does, however, Holderby and her team will be ready.

The organization is still looking for volunteers to help out not only with major hurricane responses, but emergencies happening at home, too. You can learn more about how to become a volunteer at the Red Cross' website.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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