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Organizations in the Ozarks prepare to help with Hurricane Ian in Florida

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Forecasters expect Hurricane Ian to hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane as early as Wednesday. And a few organizations in the Ozarks are ready to help.

Convoy of Hope volunteers packed 5,000 bags of groceries on Monday. Volunteers plan to pack another 5,000 on Tuesday.

The American Red Cross Springfield chapter is already on the ground in Florida, eagerly awaiting the storm’s arrival.

“The Tampa area hasn’t seen an event like this in nearly 100 years,” said Stacy Lamb, senior director of US Disaster Services with Convoy of Hope. “With a landfall that is currently scheduled for Friday, it will likely take place on Thursday so we are just close enough to the storm to be there quickly.”

Convoy of Hope, based in Springfield, Mo., is pre-packing bags of relief supplies for its disaster service team to distribute after Ian arrives in Florida.

“People of the greater Ozarks area, whenever a call comes out from Convoy to volunteer, we always get a great turnout,” Lamb said.

The Convoy of Hope packed up food, water, hygiene items, baby care kits and cleaning supplies and packed up and ready to go.

“I’m staying at a hotel in downtown Orlando and we arrived over the weekend in preparation for the hurricane,” said Kim Mailie of the American Red Cross. “When I returned to where I’m staying tonight the dark clouds moved in. The wind was picking up so I could tell something was brewing.”

Kim Mailies is from Neosho, Missouri, and is already in the field. She expects many other volunteers to follow him to Florida.

“There are emergency vehicles parked in Springfield, but we need them here,” Mailies said. “Volunteers from the Springfield area are probably starting to refuel these vehicles right now.”

To help donate to Convoy of Hope’s Hurricane Ian efforts, click here.

To help donate to the American Red Cross Hurricane Ian efforts, click here.

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