Volunteers from CT head to Florida, Haiti to help with disaster - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Volunteers from CT head to Florida, Haiti to help with disaster relief

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

As people in Florida just begin to assess the damage following Hurricane Matthew, volunteers from Connecticut and across the country are heading that way to do what they can to help.

Garrett Ingoglia hit the ground in Haiti on Thursday, and in his short time in the hurricane-torn country, so far he's witnessed utter tragedy.

"The scale is tremendous, there are a whole series of towns that are devastated,” Ingoglia said.

Ingoglia is Americares’ vice president of Emergency Response, based in Connecticut.

On Thursday, the group flew from Sikorsky Airport in Stratford to Haiti, filled with 800 pounds of medicine and supplies.

Ingoglia said parts of Haiti are still cut off, and it’s difficult to move supplies, but they are trying to distribute things to those who need it most.

"Things like aqua tabs to filter water so there's clean water to drink, tarps for shelter - we're trying to get in additional medicine and supplies that are being requested,” Ingoglia said.

Now with Matthew sweeping across the southeastern U.S., the American Red Cross is working on sending crews to Florida.

Twelve people from Connecticut and Rhode Island, some manning emergency response vehicles, are heading south, and they're not alone.

"Our volunteers and staff can take that vehicle, stop at a kitchen, pick up the meals they need to distribute and then go into neighborhoods,” said Richard Branigan, of the American Red Cross.

There were 220 units from across the country heading down to Florida on Friday.

Once they start to assess the damage, they then have to look at just how costly this storm will be.

The recent flooding in Louisiana already cost close to $30 million.

Ninety-nine percent of the American Red Cross workforce is made up of volunteers, and they are always looking for new recruits and donations in times like this.

For more on the Americares, click here, and for more on the American Red Cross, click here.

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