South Dakota Couple En Route to Florida for Hurricane Relief

Red Cross Volunteer Training Scheduled This Weekend

The East Coast is bracing for Matthew, a major category-four hurricane bringing with it damaging winds, heavy rains and the potential for massive flooding.

While many in states like Florida are packing up and heading away from the storm, one South Dakota couple is driving down there to help.

Husband and wife team Dave and Joyce Jeffries spent their Thursday afternoon packing a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle.

It’s where they’ll be spending most of their time the next two weeks while stationed on Florida’s eastern coast.

“When we get there, we evaluate the need, and immediately start doing whatever we can to help,” said Dave.

This isn’t the Jeffries’ first trip responding to a disaster. They’ve been Red Cross volunteers since 1991.

“We just take it one step at a time, whatever we can do to make it better for them,” said Dave. “Get the three basics out there for them, food shelter and clothing.”

Hurricane Matthew is currently a category four. The storm is expected to cascade up the coast of Florida and is sure to bring a lot of damage and devastation in its wake.

The Jeffries don’t know what they’ll see when they get there. But after two decades of responding to disasters like this, they’re ready for anything.

“There’s times that there’s stress, sure. There’s time when you want to cry along with the affected person. But that’s the time to buckle down and do what you can to help them,” said Dave.

In the last 24 hours, The American Red Cross Dakotas Region has sent 14 volunteers to the east coast for hurricane Matthew disaster response.

In anticipating of the large response needed as Hurricane Matthew hits landfall, the Eastern South Dakota Chapter of the Red Cross is offering intensive courses on Saturday, October 8, for anyone interested in deploying.

Potential volunteers are encouraged to attending the classes starting at 9am on Saturday, October 8th at the Red Cross office located at 808 N. West Ave. RSVPs are not required.

Volunteers who complete the courses will be eligible for a 14-day deployment with the Red Cross. If you have questions or would like to more about the classes, please the Red Cross office at 605-336-2448 x 2323