Red Cross heads south to assist with aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- The American Red Cross is mobilizing to respond to Hurricane Matthew. On Thursday, Denise and Robert Van Ness drove from their home in the Poconos to Center City to pick up an Emergency Response Vehicle.

The couple is headed to Columbia, South Carolina - a safe place to wait for the hurricane to blow through.

"What we'll be doing is feeding people. Feeding people that need it," said Robert Van Ness of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

The monster storm has already done considerable damage in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas. It's heading for Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas now. The Van Ness' will go where they're needed most - to help distribute food to those in need.

"What we're assigned to right now is mostly just feeding. We'll be running food back and forth to the shelters for feeding in the shelters. So we won't be out in the field, yet. It depends on how bad the storm hits, and how many people go back home," said Denise Van Ness of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

The Van Ness' are likely just the first Red Cross volunteers from our area to leave for the hurricane zone, with more to follow.

"Our promise is to help, to always be prepared to help. So when people sign up to be a Red Cross volunteer, and I hope that many people will sign up because it enables us to go help other people in need," said Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, American Red Cross.

This is not the first disaster response for the Van Ness'. Denise responded to Hurricane Katrina. They both just returned from assisting the victims of the San Bernardino wildfires. They expect to be away, helping the hurricane victims, for the next two-three weeks.
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