ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - As thousands of people evacuate the southeast as Hurricane Matthew approaches, brave souls are heading into the storm to aid in any way they can.
"It’s just a cycle of us preparing for things locally-just like the flood we had in December and January- so that when it happens we’re ready to go" said Nicole Hawkins with the American Red Cross.
Hawkins leads the disaster support for the St. Louis branch of the American Red Cross. Tonight, they've mobilized a fleet of vehicles and teams of volunteers are ready to head south as Matthew inches closer.
"So we’re manning shelters, getting people ready to go, getting people on standby so that as we need people to start doing feeding and distribution of supplies and helping people get back in their homes and do cleanup, that they can be on their way as the storm is even coming on land" Hawkins said.
The Humane Society of Missouri has already deployed an eight person team to Georgia to help with the hurricane Matthew rescue efforts along the coast. Local shelters, like the Hope Animal Rescue in Godfrey, Illinois, are also ready to help in times of disaster.
"You see the American Red Cross passing out food and water for the people but there’s also people with pets" said Jackie Spiker with Hope Animal Rescues. "So the second goal is to get the people that have pets the supplies they need to care for their pet until things resume back to normal" she said.
Spiker is fresh off a rescue operation to Louisiana after historic flooding there. Now, she's preparing once again to answer Mother Nature’s unpredictable call.
"If need be we can back the truck up, throw it on fill up our cooler and be out of here in a couple of hours and on our way wherever we are asked to go" Spiker said.
Hurricane Matthew is anticipated to make landfall in the southeast sometime Thursday night.