Red Cross in need of volunteers for Irma relief efforts

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"One of my girlfriend's roofs blew off and one of my other girlfriends was trapped in her house, but as of today I'm not able to get in touch with anyone", Stoutmire said. "It sounds like there is significant damage in some places".

"Irma is likely to make landfall in Florida as a risky major hurricane, and will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of the exact track of the center". The organization has been receiving donations from large businesses to individuals giving "whatever they can spare", said Lia Pontarelli, director of development and communications for the Cedar Rapids Salvation Army.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has recommended that any person who wishes to volunteer go through the American Red Cross of Volunteer Florida.

Florida Governor Rick Scott called for 17,000 volunteers, according to ABC.

· Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey or Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY or IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation. "The Blade is honored to join 13 ABC and the Red Cross to raise funds with the help of the people in northwest OH and southeast MI".

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Several of the volunteers helping out are from the Valley, including local volunteer Melissa Papini. Schaffer said Red Cross officials learned not to rush the training process and send new volunteers to a deployment of that scale.

In Houston and other parts of Texas, about 7,500 people were staying at 32 shelters.

All AmeriCorps workers go through a training period with the Red Cross on how to work on disaster recovery.

Volunteers must be at least 18 and pass a background check.

They must also be willing to work day or night shifts and be in good health with no physical limitations.

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