Volunteers head out of town to assist in recovery efforts

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Volunteers from the American Red Cross in Northwest Florida have been sent to eastern and southern parts of the state to help run shelters.

"We can deploy to Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, anywhere in the United States that there is a need, we can deploy there," Red Cross Volunteer Michael Palase said.

Emergency response vehicles from our local chapter are also on their way to the communities affected by the storm.

"We're going to use all the things we have, that you're seeing loaded in the truck, the snacks, the water in the Red Cross shelters that area still going to be open over there for a while," Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer Bob Pearce said.

While volunteers may have different responsibilities before and after a disaster, Red Cross officials said the overall goal is care and comfort.

"It's about helping them rebuild their lives and recover from what's happened to them and so even a little thing like two volunteers coming up and giving them a meal and a bottle of water and a pair of work gloves and just listening to their story... Those things are incredibly important. We're going to be there, beginning to end in the recovery process," Pearce said.