Red Cross, I&M send crews in preparation of Hurricane Ian

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - As Hurricane Ian inches closer to Florida, people from northeast Indiana are making their way to the sunshine state to help.

Crews from the Red Cross of Northeast Indiana and Indiana Michigan Power are set to help Floridians recover. Volunteers with both organizations left this morning and plan to be there as long as it takes to help people recover from the storm.

Phil Bloom is no stranger to helping out when disaster strikes. He recently returned home to Indiana from California, where he helped people recovering from wildfires.

“We don’t like to go to these things,” Bloom said. “We’re more than happy to go help them out when they need us.”

Bloom is one of two volunteers from the Red Cross’ Northeast Indiana chapter who are heading to Florida to help with recovery efforts. These volunteers will help provide food and water to those impacted by the storm.

“Everyone’s been impacted and that’s really why Hoosiers really rally around the disasters whether it’s here locally or abroad,” Red Cross Executive Director Olivia Lusher said.

I&M is sending around 350 line workers to help. Corey olenkamp with I&M says after northeast Indiana got hit by a derecho earlier this summer, he says it’s important to pay it forward.

“Just as other companies have answered that call, we’re ready to assist those impacted by this storm,” Olenkamp said. “One thing that our crews are always focused on is making sure that restoration goes as quick as possible.”

Leaders with I&M and the Red Cross say they still don’t know where their crews will be stationed and for how long.