Orem couple volunteers for Red Cross in path of Hurricane Ian

Sep 28, 2022, 5:50 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A married couple from Orem is in Florida right now among the trained disaster volunteers from the Red Cross of Utah. They’re already helping out in an evacuation shelter as Hurricane Ian closes in.

“We’re kind of on the storm track that is coming this direction,” said David Kenison.

Right now, he and his wife, Bonnie, are in an elementary school in Crescent City, Florida.

“We are at one of those evacuation shelters in the eastern part of the state where there’s going be a lot of flooding, and lot of need for temporary support for people who are out of their homes during the passing of the storm,” David said.

The storm is headed their way.

“They’re expecting the tropical force winds and the thunderstorms, and potentially tornadoes to start maybe this evening,” Bonnie said.

The shelter opened Tuesday night, and people are already showing up.

“Things are only going to get worse, and the winds will pick up, as well,” said David. “So, we’re still kind of the calm before the storm.”

The Kenison’s job is to check people in.

Utah Red Cross sends volunteers to Florida as Hurricane Ian closes in

“The people are anticipating the problem and wanting to get to a safe place. We are expecting the majority of the people to come in later today (Wednesday) when the brunt of the storm reaches us,” he said.

“Our first experience with the Red Cross was with some of the fires that were in California last year,” said Bonnie.

They volunteered at shelters on a couple of the biggest fires. They also helped after tornadoes battered Kentucky last December. They said, they’ve been blessed, and this is fulfilling work.

“We enjoy doing this because we’re retired, and we have the time, and that’s really all we have to donate to this effort,” said Bonnie.

Even with the storm on the way, they are confident in the shelter where they will ride out the storm.

“We’ve never felt that we were at risk. They make sure that we have a safe place,” said David.

Conditions will change for them a lot from Wednesday night into Thursday. They expect to be in Florida for two weeks on this deployment.

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Orem couple volunteers for Red Cross in path of Hurricane Ian