Dozens of local volunteers are headed south to help the hurricane victims, and while the help is greatly needed, state leaders want to make sure the damaged areas are not overloaded with outsiders.
Around a dozen volunteers from the Capital Area Chapter of the Red Cross are packing up and heading south to help victims of Hurricane Charley. The Capital Area Chapter of the Red Cross is also sending a mobile kitchen unit. It will feed around 125,000 people down in Osceola County who are now without power.
Rich Hunt drove all the way from Minnesota to help and says, “It wasn't bad; it's all four lane all the way.”
Although Florida leaders are thrilled with the offers for help, they're remembering Hurricane Andrew when thousands flooded into Miami, sometimes bringing more chaos than help.
"We need it in some kind of coordinated effort because again people would just sort of drive down here and show up places as well," said Florida’s Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.
Organizations like the Red Cross, the Fire Department and the electric company all have standing orders to deploy as needed, but outside of that, individuals who just want to offer a helping hand may find there's no room in central Florida.
"The volunteers that are going down. We're even going have to stay in shelters for a few days because there are no hotel rooms available," said Chris Floyd of the Capital Area Red.
The lieutenant governor says those who want to help can always send monetary donations, or help a well-known local organization. If you would like to help there is a need for volunteers in the Tallahassee area. Those people would answer phones and help organizers place donations where they are most needed.
The number to call for Volunteer Florida is 850-921-3015.