A local American Red Cross volunteer from Rochester is ready to go to Florida to help with the disaster response expected in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

A local American Red Cross volunteer from Rochester is ready to go to Florida to help with the disaster response expected in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

The storm is expected to slide up the eastern coast of Florida Thursday as a category two or three hurricane.

The American Red Cross is making sure emergency needs can be met. Volunteers will help storm survivors get shelter, food and mental health resources.

"We do have someone from Rochester that's part of a leadership team that's going to Florida in advance of the storm, and then obviously once the response hits, and we know where it is, a lot more people may be going, so what makes that possible is our financial donations throughout the year," says Jay Bonafede with the WNY & CNY Chapters of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross is always looking for new volunteers. If you sign up now you wouldn't be trained in time to help with the initial response to Hurricane Matthew, but you'd be ready for future emergencies.

Bonafede also urged people to donate blood in anticipation of potential shortages when the storm hits.

"If a storm comes, and it does have a huge effect, it would cause a shortfall in donations. People wouldn't be able to donate that ordinarily would. Drives might get canceled. So in anticipation of that, we might make a little extra ask for people if you are eligible to donate," added Bonafede.

Click here for how to volunteer or give blood