American Red Cross responders from Connecticut and Rhode Island have deployed as Hurricane Harvey bears down on Texas and Louisiana.
The organization said it deployed five responders in advance of the storm.
As of Friday evening, Harvey strengthened to a category 4 hurricane.
It said it anticipates a large-scale deployment effort after it hits.
The Red Cross said it mobilizing other workers to support their effort and has more than 17 shelters ready to open if needed.
Trailers full of relief supplies, including cots, blankets and comfort and cleaning supplies, have been positioned near the areas expected to see the brunt of the storm.
More than 30 Red Cross emergency response vehicles have been activated with about 20 more on alert.
The organization said it is also working with government officials and community partners in both states to coordinate the response.
Ashley Marsella lives in Sugarland, Texas now, but she is originally from Windsor.
She said tension is high, even where she is in the Houston area.
"It has been insane, people shuffling all over the place, grocery stores are sold out of everything, gas stations running out of fuel, people are definitely in a state of panic," Marsella said.
Forecasters said it could be the most powerful storm to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005.
Evacuation orders are in place for many but Marsella has not been told to evacuate.
However, she said she's ready to go if necessary.
"Yesterday we hit the grocery store, we got a couple cases of water, canned food. They're telling us we're going to need to stay in our home for 3 to 4 days," Marsella said.
Harvey could bring winds of 110 miles per hour and a 15 foot storm surge, which is why Marsella thinks no one should take a risk.
"I'm just overly prepared. People think I'm crazy, but you never know," Marsella said.
Anyone looking to donate to the potential relief effort can do so at redcross.org.
Donors can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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