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Utahns Prepare to Aid Victims of Hurricane Frances

Utahns Prepare to Aid Victims of Hurricane Frances



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Alex Cabrero Reporting Even though Frances is 2,000 miles away, its effects can be felt here in Utah. Several organizations and volunteers are getting ready to help. And flights from Salt Lake to Florida will likely be canceled.

Flights to Florida are still happening right now, but for how much longer no one knows. We understand Delta may cancel flights beginning tomorrow. But for some volunteers willing to help victims, flights don't matter; they're ready to drive.

Greg Winegar: “We’d like to see if you were willing and able to go and be part of the relief efforts.”

Preparation -- it's what the American Red Cross does best. Wednesday, workers in the Salt Lake office were busy calling volunteers, seeing who they could recruit to help soon-to-be ravaged Florida.

Keith Keyser answered the call. He's seen the satellite images of Frances approaching Florida and knows when it looks like this, there's no telling what it'll look like when it hits.

Keith Keyser, Red Cross Volunteer: “You feel like you ought to be able to help people. And they’ll need help, so anything I can do, I’m willing to do.”

Not only is Utah sending some of its people to Florida for the hurricane, it's also sending three of its emergency response vehicles.

Greg Winegar: “We know exactly what to do, what to put together, and get them out there on the road.”

Getting to Florida shouldn't be a problem. All the traffic is heading away, residents trying to get a headstart before the big hit.

Talk about luck. The last time Paula Abbott and her Orem family had a vacation was September 11th, 2001. Now, they were planning another one for this weekend, until they saw the TV.

And in the Bahamas they’re already starting to feel the effects of Frances. Residents are protecting their homes, buying supplies in bulk, and getting gas for generators. There's no doubt, Frances is up for a fight, but so is Utah's Red Cross.

Greg Winegar: “That’s why we’re in this business; we care about what’s going on and we care about our neighbors.”

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