Tucson Red Cross volunteer headed to help Hurricane Florence victims

Tucson Red Cross volunteer headed to help Hurricane Florence victims
Red Cross volunteer Humberto Benitez of Tucson is headed into Florence's path to help hurricane victims. (Emily Biehl)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Hurricane Florence may have been downgraded from a category four to a category one as it bore down on the Carolinas, but it’s still brought heavy wind and rain, which is why local Red Cross volunteer Humberto Benitez is headed to the east coast to help.

Benitez is going to Myrtle Beach, SC for two weeks. He says he isn’t sure what exactly he’ll be doing during his time there but he’s looking forward to helping those affected by the hurricane and that he’s excited to assist his fellow volunteers.

For Benitez, the call to serve as part of the Red Cross came four years ago.

“After I got out of the service I had that void in me. I still wanted to help people, I didn’t know what was good to help out and some friends talked to me about the American Red Cross and it started out from there,” he said.

In his time volunteering with the Red Cross he's done a lot, especially last year. He spent six months volunteering through Red Cross at every major hurricane from Harvey to Maria.

“The most memorable experience was the gratification that one gets from helping the entire Caribbean and the east coast,” Benitez said of his time volunteering last year.

He says he has come prepared for just about anything. He’s got his medic kit packed along with blankets and clothes to last him for the two-week time frame. When it comes to volunteering amidst hurricanes he says he hopes for the best but he expects the worst.

Benitez stresses that even if you aren’t interested in heading into the path of the storm to volunteer, you can still help.

“We’re all volunteer-based and every dollar people send does help out a lot. It helps get emergency response vehicles out there; it helps getting food and water; and of course, getting volunteers out there to open up shelters.”

To donate to the Red Cross efforts with Hurricane Florence you can text FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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