Local disaster response organizations in North Texas are getting ready to help those who may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
The local Red Cross chapter has been packing up truckloads of supplies all week to send down to Florida. So far, eight trucks have been sent to stage just outside of the area expected to be impacted, so they can be ready to go in when needed.
As predictions for Hurricane Dorian grow more intense, Red Cross volunteers and employees in North Texas have been making plans to meet whatever needs arise.
“With Hurricane Dorian potentially hitting such a populous and dense area, it’s necessary to go ahead and stage with as many items as we can because you don’t know what it’s going to look like afterwards,” said Lisa Morgan with the American Red Cross – North Texas Region.
So far, seven volunteers and eight truckloads of supplies are headed down from the DFW area with more planning to go. In total, 40 trucks from Red Cross chapters nationwide are on the way carrying items like cots, blankets, and comfort kits with toiletries inside.
“These are all items that we think you’ll be in need of if you have to evacuate your home quickly,” Morgan said.
Military officials say about 150 military aircraft from Florida's coast up to South Carolina will be moved as a precaution to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth over the next few days.
Meanwhile, the Texas Baptist Men are also on standby. This week, the volunteer and donation-based group has been preparing their mobile feeding and shower units to head to Florida.
“TBM’s ready to respond with 30,000 meals a day,” said David Well with the organization. “If we’re called with that, we’d take three trailers right off the bat. If we’re called for more, we’d send more generators for the trailer.”
They’ve also alerted their volunteers to be prepared to leave for at least a week at a time. The organization says this will likely be the first hurricane they will be deployed to this year.
“The strength of that being a category 3 possibly there’s a lot of need that goes on,” Wells said. “So we’re prepared to meet that need.”
Some airlines are also making preparations. American Airlines says they haven't canceled any flights, but there is a travel alert in effect for more than 25 airports in the Caribbean and Florida.
Laura and Jeff Heffelfinger headed home to North Texas after a flying out of Orlando.
“And they were saying it’s not going to hit until probably Sunday, but the grocery stores were very full,” Laura said.
Airlines are bracing for the impact on flight schedules.
9-year-old Cecilia Merrill arrived at DFW International after a visit with grandma just south of Daytona Beach.
Mom of three Adelaide Olguin is happy to be back home after a family cruise to the Bahamas.
“When we were on the cruise and we heard a hurricane coming, we did want to know is it gonna hit over the cruise. And where would we go?” she said.
Olguin says the family of five would still be in Florida now if it weren’t for a change of their original travel plans before they even knew a storm was coming.
Meanwhile, Fred Fletcher, who lives in Orlando, says he’s not worried yet.
“I don’t think anybody is going to not get on the plane unless they’ve never been to Florida before,” he said. “There could be some concern. I’m getting on the plane. I’m going home.”
American, Southwest and Delta have offered to waive ticket change fees for travelers going to or coming from the Bahamas, the Caribbean and every major airport in Florida.