Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas for nearly 48 hours, destroying thousands of homes and leaving at least seven people dead.
As the storm approaches the states more than 2 million residents in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina have been warned to evacuate.
The American Red Cross Wisconsin region is answering the call to help with 33 disaster volunteers already involved in response and recovery efforts. The Red Cross deployed its first wave of Wisconsin volunteers last week, and this week the second wave is heading out toward the storm to help wherever they can.
Ryan Clancy is one of those Red Cross volunteers flying out to the Carolinas —he's also a husband, a father of five, and a small business owner. He's leaving his life in Milwaukee behind for a two-week stint to serve.
"There's always some anxiety, but I know that I can help," Clancy said.
Clancy is heading to Charleston, South Carolina. The Red Cross also has volunteers from the state and one local emergency vehicle already on the ground and prepared to ride out whatever Dorian brings in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Local Red Cross partners on the ground are also in contact with the international Red Cross operation underway in the Bahamas —offering additional help that may be needed there.
"I think the most important quality is to be flexible. I don't know what I'm getting into, but I know that I can help while I'm there," Clancy said.
But as a father of five, Clancy admits saying goodbye to his little ones isn't always the easiest task and when he tells them what he's leaving to do, they typically have questions.
“My five-year-old kind of took it in and then she said, 'Okay, so you’re going to be fighting the hurricane, right?' And I said, 'Well, it's not really like a firefighter,'" Clancy laughed.
There's no doubt, Clancy will be needed in Charleston as there are reports of a very dangerous situation developing in the area because of Dorian.