Jacksonville Red Cross preparing for Isaac | News

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Jacksonville Red Cross preparing for Isaac
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Officials with the American Red Cross in Jacksonville are still watching Isaac closely.

The Northeast Florida office, which is based in Riverside, is responsible for managing disaster response for all of North Florida.   That includes everywhere from Jacksonville to Pensacola. 

They have already sent one Jacksonville-based employee to Panama City in preparation for Isaac's landfall. 

"If it ends up hitting in the Panhandle, there's a big chunk of us that will probably go over there to help them out and vice versa if it were to hit here," explained Amber Bierfreund from the Red Cross. 

Emergency Services Specialist Bill Dion headed to assist in the readiness efforts today.  

"It's a challenge," said Dion. "I think hurricanes are probably the hardest disaster to be able to prepare for and work with." 

Bierfreund said the organization has been planning for Isaac since Tuesday. They have been holding meetings in Tallahassee and the Panhandle to devise plans A, B, C, D and Z for the storm. 

Locally, Red Cross workers have been doing what they call, "call downs," calling volunteers to see if they are prepared to deploy to other areas of the state if necessary. 

However, their job is not done here in Jacksonville. Bierfreund said Northeast Florida is already saturated with water from previous storms and any rain from Isaac could be a problem. 

"Rain is the one thing we're worried about here," said Bierfreund.  "We really can't afford to get much more rain, but that is what people need to be prepared for is more flooding."

The Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers. To sign up, visit the American Red Cross website

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