Arizonans with Red Cross head to help in Idalia relief efforts

Several Arizonans zigzagged their way across the country to help after Hurricane Idalia hit Florida's Gulf Coast.

Arizona Red Cross volunteers are now stationed in the southeast, ready to go wherever they’re needed.

Nearly a dozen volunteers left Sky Harbor early Tuesday morning. At one point, they flew into a band of the hurricane to get to Tallahassee, Florida.

The crew will fan out from there to wherever help is needed.


Idalia digs inland as tropical storm, immersing Southeast in floodwaters following historic Florida landfall

The deadly Category 3 hurricane hit along the coast of the Florida Big Bend near Keaton Beach about 7:45 a.m. local time, posing an immediate threat to lives and properties with 125 mph winds and significant flooding.

Idalia is now a tropical storm making its way into Georgia and North and South Carolina. But, not before leaving behind a mess in Florida.

The volunteers could end up in any one of those states.

They'll assess the situation quickly and get people help in a hurry.

From necessities like food and shelter, but also beds, soap and shampoo, and shaving kits.

They'll be setting up shelters, and that's what Frank Lagorio from Mesa does best. It's a lot like what he did in the private sector as a project manager.


Florida horse trainers prepare animals for Idalia: 'Little bit nerve-racking'

At the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida, there’s room for 3,000 horses and other animals to evacuate during a hurricane, free of charge. Over at a smaller equestrian center, the owner said she is preparing as well.

"When I was working, I was working as a project manager a lot of times. I would kind of parachute into a situation, and I had to figure out what it was, how to fix it, and I find for me, this is a lot like work in that sense because I know how to do it," he said.

He says several buildings are predetermined as shelters for emergencies like this.

The standard commitment for volunteers is two weeks, but volunteers are often asked to stay longer.

Here's a link if you want to donate to hurricane relief efforts: