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Utahns Gearing Up To Help Hurricane-Ravaged Areas

Four days' worth of rainfall and up to 3 feet of rain placed Hurricane Florence right behind Harvey as the second wettest storm in history.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Salt Lake City resident KSL 5 TV spoke with is one of the many giving Utahns gearing up to help hurricane-ravaged areas.

“There’s plenty of devastation and we’re getting photos that are coming across,” said Bob Toth, about Hurricane Michael’s path of destruction.

He and his fellow Team Rubicon members aren’t heading to where you may expect.

“A lot of people think when a disaster happens that all the help needs to happen right then, but places are still rebuilding. Communities are still rebuilding. With Houston, we’re actually still rebuilding from that,” said Toth, who’s one of 15 who will fly to areas devastated by Hurricane Florence Saturday.

Team Rubicon takes advantage of the skills and experiences of military veterans, alongside first responders, to help in emergency situations.

“In order to get ready for this, the folks from the Salt Lake Bees actually allowed us to use their facility to train up a bunch of people just to have the basic skills that they need to go out and deploy,” Toth said.

As of now, only one teammate is responding to Florida. They expect more of them will be tasked in that direction within six to eight weeks.

Despite the distance, it’s also all-hands on deck for the Red Cross of Utah.

“At last count between Florence and Michael, we had about 70 volunteers and some staff deployed,” said Rich Woodruff, a director of communications for the Red Cross.

Both groups move their troops to where the need is greatest and give them rest too, but they want to remind locals to remember these ravaged areas in the long-term.

“When a disaster strikes, yeah, it’s great that everyone wants to help and contribute and get involved. But people need to realize when there’s that much devastation, it can take months and years for communities to rebuild,” said Toth.

These organizers say while it’s unrealistic for many folks to be able to fly to a location to help, donations and volunteering locally really make a difference, helping fill the void of those who have made their way east.

To donate or volunteer with the American Red Cross, visit their website.

You can also donate by calling 1-800-HELP NOW. Texting REDCROSS to 90999 will give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

To donate or volunteer with Team Rubicon, visit their website.

KSL 5 TV Live