As Hurricane Florence makes its way to the East Coast, hundreds of volunteers are heading to help.
John Cordts is one of the several Mainers heading to help with hurricane relief.
He has a layover in Philadelphia before connecting to his final destination in Richmond, Virginia.
Cordts, of Lisbon, has a heart for helping people, and while he may not know when he’s coming back to Maine, the five-year Red Cross volunteer and retired volunteer firefighter has his bags packed with the essentials, ready to help.
This isn’t Cordts’ first time helping with hurricane relief.
“When Harvey came last year I went to Houston, a small community outside of Houston called Texas City,” Cordts said. “What we’re hearing is that the flooding from this storm is going to be as catastrophic, if not more than Harvey. So, there’s going to be a lot of need out there for a long period of time.”
Cordts says he will be helping prepare evacuation shelters in Virginia.
“Go to the Red Cross headquarters and find out what I’m going to be doing tomorrow morning,” Cordts said.
He says he could also be sent down to the Carolina’s, which is expected to be hit hard.
“You have to be very flexible and go with the flow,” Cordts said.
Cordts is one of 700 disaster workers on their way to the East Coast. At least five of them are from Maine.
It’s work that Cordts says is rewarding as it gets.
“You develop a relationship with the people that you’re helping and you bring a little bit of cheer or a little bit of comfort to their life,” Cordts said.
If you’re looking to help locally, there are a few ways you can.
The American Red Cross says you can make a donation by calling 1-800-red-cross or texting the word Florence to 90999.
They are also encouraging areas that will be unaffected by Florence to donate blood and that Type O is especially needed right now.
Two other Mainers, Brent Scott and Sam Woodman, posted a flyer saying they plan to take some time off from their jobs to go into the path of the hurricane and save animals from the storm, according to Portland NBC affiliate WCSH.
The duo has a truck and a boat, but said they are accepting donations of pet supplies for their rescue mission. They can be reached at 207-449-9674, according to the station.