DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Task Force 1 was not the only Ohio group heading for Florida to help with recovery of Hurricane Idalia.

As people fled for safety, the American Red Cross was busy getting set up in anticipation for the storm. Sending a dozen local volunteers, the Red Cross is managing 17 shelters in the areas hit by Idalia, providing a hot meal, health services, and a safe place to sleep.

Don Hawkins, American Red Cross Regional Communications Director Central & Southern Ohio Region, said, “People get through what may be the worst day of their life. You know, people might lose their homes, people might be impacted greatly by the storm. And if we can help alleviate that suffering in any way, shape or form, that’s what we want to do.”

Matthew 25: Ministries based in Blue Ash receive donations from the public to run their mission. They are currently holding back in Cincinnati but are confident they will be sending a handful of volunteers in the coming days to help people get back on their feet.

Ben Williams, Director of Disaster Relief at Matthew 25: Ministries, said, “We will take down supplies and offer services to folks. So, we have Tide Loads of Hope, laundry trailers that we operate. We have a Duracell power Ford truck that’s loaded up with batteries and phone chargers. We have box trucks of supplies, you know, personal care supplies, cleaning items, baby items.

200 Duke Energy employees from the Ohio and Kentucky region have made their way south to help with the cleanup of Hurricane Idalia. Over 200,000 people in Florida are without power, in counties where Duke Energy operates, but it will take some time to get into the hardest hit areas.

Casey Kroger, Duke Energy spokesperson, said, “Once the storm passes, that’s where we can get into action and mobilize. It starts with our damage assessment. We need to know what has been hit the worst. And then obviously, they can mobilize to different areas of Florida that has been hit in different ways.”

Idalia now heads towards the Carolinas where they can see upwards of 5 feet of storm surge.

Matthew 25: Ministries said to monitor their social media to see if they need volunteers or donations.

You can donate to the American Red Cross to support victims of Idalia online here.