Utah Red Cross Volunteers Sent To Aid In Hurricane Dorian Clean-Up

Sep 4, 2019, 5:07 PM
ATLANTIC OCEAN - SEPTEMBER 1:  In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, no...
ATLANTIC OCEAN - SEPTEMBER 1: In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 5 storm, tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:20Z September 1, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. A hurricane warning is in effect for much of the northwestern Bahamas as it gets hit with 175 mph winds. According to the National Hurricane Center Dorian is predicted to hit the U.S. as a Category 4 storm. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
(Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

MURRAY, Utah – Nearly a dozen volunteers with the American Red Cross in Utah will use their training to help Hurricane Dorian victims across the eastern U.S.

Some Utahns are already on the East Coast helping to do what they can and others are on their way, as the slow-moving Hurricane Dorian churned away offshore.

Nine Red Cross volunteers from Utah were sent to Florida and the Carolinas earlier this week while two will head to South Carolina on Wednesday. The two women leaving at midnight have different experiences and different expectations, but they’re helping for the same reasons.

“You can imagine everything in your head that might happen. But, the only way to know is to go,” said Red Cross volunteer Rayna Rogerson.

At midnight, Rogerson and Jana Darling will deploy to South Carolina to help hurricane victims at a Red Cross shelter. They’ll do different jobs, focused on providing food, comfort and safety.

“When you know you are going into it, and you’re going to be dealing with people that are being impacted, some of them severely, it’s humbling,” Rogerson said.

Based on what she had seen on the news, Rogerson expected to witness devastation and disruption of many lives. This is her 15th disaster deployment in three years. She was in North Carolina for Hurricane Florence, Texas for Hurricane Harvey and Florida for Hurricane Michael. Now she’ll be in South Carolina for Hurricane Dorian.

“It’s humbling to know that I’m going to be able to come back home and those people may not have a home to come back to anymore,” Rogerson said.

Jana Darling, on the other hand, is gearing up for her first national disaster deployment.

“As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to do disaster relief,” she said.

So, she did the required Red Cross training and is headed out with a mix of emotions.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty. I don’t know what to expect,” she said. “There’s excitement and apprehension. It’s going to be intense.”

She’s excited in anticipation of working with a team to help people who really need it.

“I like the human connection,” Darling said. “Just to be out in the community and helping out where I can.”

Among the goals for the deployment?

“For at least one person, I provided them with some hope and some direction on how to get their life back together,” said Rogerson.

Providing hope is a key piece of the recovery effort. The volunteers will be gone for two weeks and may have several different assignments in that time.

Hurricane Dorian was projected to pass along the coasts of the Carolinas with winds speeds between 74 and 110 mph.

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Utah Red Cross Volunteers Sent To Aid In Hurricane Dorian Clean-Up