Youngstown Red Cross on standby for Hurricane Joaquin

The American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley is on standby for Hurricane Joaquin.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley is on standby, ready to help victims of Hurricane Joaquin.

The Category 4 storm has sustained winds of more than 130 mph as it travels through the Bahamas and is expected to stay east of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. There is potential for residents of that area to see heavy rain, high surf and strong winds, as well as flooding in some areas.

The Youngstown location will be taking ERV, the Emergency Response Vehicle, to the east coast as soon as it gets word from the Red Cross’s national office in Washington, D.C.

A volunteer will drive the vehicle to flooded areas caused by the hurricane.

Although Hurricane Joaquin will not hit close to home, the organization is always prepared for tragedies across the U.S.

“We watch every event that impacts people around the world through our national office. We are the most prepared organization,” said Karen Conklin, executive director of the American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley.

The local Red Cross has several volunteer drivers, and ERV is used to help families who have been affected by tragedies from hurricanes to house fires.

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