Red Cross prepares response to Hurricane Michael
ATLANTA - The Red Cross is preparing its response to Hurricane Michael.
The organization said volunteers have gathered at an emergency operations center in Macon.
Once the storm has passed, the Red Cross said volunteers will be ready to mobilize and go to the areas where they're most needed.
MORE: The latest Michael headlines
The Red Cross said volunteers are a crucial part of their storm response.
Red Cross officials said it's possible that as many as 320,000 people on Florida's Gulf Coast did not evacuate and are likely riding out the storm.
Evacuation orders were sent by state and local officials to about 325,000 people. Emergency managers said they don't know how many left the area, but there were about 6,000 people in 80 shelters in five states, including nearly 1,200 who are still in shelters following Hurricane Florence.
Michael went from a tropical storm to a projected Category 3 hurricane in around six hours and could have caught thousands off guard.
Brad Kieserman is the Vice President of Operations and Logistics for the American Red Cross. He said the storm "intensified extremely quickly and didn't give anyone enough time to do much."
The Red Cross is asking anyone who wishes to donate to the relief efforts can do so by texting the word “MICHAEL” to 90999. This will make a $10 donation to the Red Cross’ hurricane relief efforts.