Eastern Iowans helping out storm victims in the Carolinas

Published: Sep. 14, 2018 at 5:11 PM CDT
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A Dubuque woman working with the Red Cross is in Florence, South Carolina making sure supplies are going where they're needed. Jolene Carpenter is the district 1 director for the Red Cross.

That district covers the areas from Myrtle Beach to Florence. She says they are trying to make sure they are ready to get supplies to people in need.

Carpenter says, "Right now we're just experiencing some high winds and just beginning a little bit of rain. We're not experiencing a whole lot."

Jolene Carpenter and other members of the Red Cross are keeping a close eye on the storm. Her district is housing about 3,000 people, and she expects more to come.

She explains, "Because of the amounts of rain, they're anticipating a lot of flooding. So our numbers should increase for people who didn't possibly evacuate, so we're increasing those numbers by about 30 percent."

Members of the National Guard are ready to help them get supplies to places they can't reach.

Carpenter says, "The national guard has the high water vehicles and vehicles that can sustain those winds. They come in and load up our supplies onto their vehicles and they get them out to the shelters of the evacuation centers that are open."

Carpenter plans on staying in South Carolina until next month. She says besides providing people with food and shelter, The Red Cross also have mental health teams on hand to talk to victims.

University of Iowa Professor Ann Campbell looks into how logistics work during disasters. She says it's important to pre-position people and supplies to areas that may get hit hard.

She says, "Like what are the things that people commonly need after a hurricane. Like I've already seen they ran out of cots in North Carolina. Because cots is not something if you don't already have it pre-positioned you can go out and buy:”