North Dakotans giving a helping hand ahead of Hurricane Florence

BISMARCK, N.D. - Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the East Coast hard in the next several days.

Before the storm makes landfall, many Red Cross volunteers are heading out to help people who have evacuated in anticipation of the potential disaster.

Eight North Dakotans are headed to the impact area.

Carol and Allen Becker left Bismarck Wednesday afternoon and will land in Virginia Wednesday evening.

Their mission? To help as many people as they can.

As many are evacuating because of the storm, Red Cross volunteers are heading towards the eye.

"Last night I got the message at 6 o'clock. Can you leave tomorrow? In less than 24 hours can you be packed and ready to go. I need you to leave tomorrow before airports start closing," said Carol.

Carol and Allen drove from Minot to Bismarck to get their mission started, and this isn't their first rodeo.

"Been doing 15 of these now, so, you know? Like I said, it's all new, but it's all basically the same mission for every one of them. Whether its feeding, or sheltering, or bulk distribution or whatever is called upon us to do," said Allen, 10th year as a Red Cross volunteer.

Allen and Carol are just two of several people being taken by the Red Cross from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota all the way to the East ahead of Hurricane Florence.

"Once we do that damage assessment, we figure out what the needs are and then we'll end up sending more people," said Rob Stotz, Western ND Red Cross executive director.

The Becker's say they're ready to lend a helping hand to whoever needs it.

"They stop crying because you've handed them a little stuffed animal, to me that means so much," said Carol.

Based on the potential impact the storm could have, Carol could be handing out lots of teddy bears within the next three weeks.

The Beckers say they'll be out East for at least three weeks.

Although that's a long time to be away from home, they say they chose to leave and they'll be helping others who were forced out through evacuations and potential damage.