At Jacksonville's Red Cross chapter in Riverside, volunteers packed up, ready to bring relief and hope to those who may be affected by Tropical Storm Isaac in the coming days. They are just a few of the thousands of volunteers heading to the areas that will be most affected to help out.
"Right now we are heading to Gainesville to stage some equipment, open shelters in the event that there's flooding. You know, the ground is so saturated and we are afraid that any rain we get from the storm could bring back flooding like we had from Beryl," said Chris Thomas, Red Cross volunteer.
One of the most important things they are bringing is water. When places flood, it often time mean the drinking water becomes dirty. With temperatures in the mid-90s, bottled water is crucial.
Crews left from Jacksonville earlier this week, adding to the hundreds of Red Cross workers nationwide making their way down to the Gulf Coast.
"Our initial efforts in any relief situation like this are to open shelter and to make sure people are comfortable in those shelters as they wait out the worst part of the storm. We will keep those shelters open for a few days as people are able to get back to their homes. After that we will work with them depending on their needs in the community," said Liz Lawrence, the Regional Emergency Services Director for North Florida.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has set up a regional command center at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and filled with emergency supplies ready to go where needed.
"Food, water, and cots, that's what we have here," said Jim Homestead of FEMA.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are notorious for knocking out trees and power lines, and consequently electricity. A team of nearly 8,000 Florida Power and Light workers prepared to fix damage from Isaac.
Jacksonville Utility Company, JEA, has not sent anyone yet. A spokeswoman said crews are ready and willing, but no one has requested their help yet. That may change depending on the damage Isaac does.
Go to redcross.org or call 800-RED-CROSS for more information.