Several Red Cross volunteers from the Dakotas deployed in wake of Hurricane Michael

Wreckage in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Tallahassee, FL, Photo Date: 10/11/2018 / Photo: WCTV / (MGN)

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) For the second time in just weeks, the American Red Cross is helping thousands of people in the southeast after another devastating hurricane – Michael – slammed into the Gulf Coast as the third-strongest hurricane in U.S. history.

“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this incredibly powerful storm,” said Lynn Speral, CEO of the Dakotas Region of the American Red Cross. “Right now, our immediate focus is on making sure people have a safe place to stay and I’m proud that our neighbors in North and South Dakota are stepping up to help.”

Seven Red Cross volunteers from the Dakotas Region have been deployed to Florida, Georgia and Alabama, and more are expected to depart in the coming days.

They join more than 1,000 trained disaster workers from across the country to provide shelter, food, health services and emotional support to those in the affected areas.

Thursday night, approximately 2,900 people stayed in Red Cross and community evacuation centers across Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Shelter supplies, including cots and blankets, have been pre-positioned to support some 15,000 people.

The Red Cross has already served 30,000 snacks and we’re working with partners to start serving tens of thousands of hot meals each day.