Updated Sept. 15, 7:25 a.m.
Nonprofit organizations around Charlotte are looking for extra help as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Carolina coast.
The Red Cross has opened five emergency shelters around Mecklenburg County, and local homeless shelters are anticipating high demand as the storm hits. If you're looking for opportunities to help out, here are a few:
Red Cross Emergency Shelters
- The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help staff emergency shelters in Mecklenburg County and other areas of eastern North Carolina. Volunteers work 6-12 hour shifts, and help with maintaining and setting up shelters, registering clients, maintaining client information, serving meals and general housekeeping. Interested? Visit www.redcross.org/volunteer
Red Cross shelters are open to hurricane evacuees and locals who don't have a safe place to stay. Charlotte-area shelters are located at:
- South Mecklenburg High School
- North Mecklenburg High School
- East Mecklenburg High School
- West Mecklenburg High School
- Ardrey Kell High School
Men's Shelter of Charlotte
- The Men's Shelter of Charlotte will be making room in its two facilities to house an additional 100 men this weekend. The shelter has a strong need for new towels and new blankets, among other items. For a full list, visit the shelter's website. Donations can be dropped off at the uptown shelter, located at 1210 North Tryon St.
The Salvation Army
- The Salvation Army's shelter for women and children will be opening up floor space to house an additional 50 people through the weekend. Staff members said they were having a difficult time securing a generator, in case the power goes out, but as of Friday had found one. The shelter says it could use donations of sheets and blankets. People interested in making donations should contact Director Deronda Metz at 704-621-6370.
Urban Ministry of Charlotte
- The Urban Ministry is looking for flashlights, batteries, ponchos, tarps and tents that can be passed along to people enrolled in the nonprofit's housing for homeless program. Donations can be dropped off at 945 North College St.
In addition, the city is asking residents to help out by making sure storm drains aren't clogged, which could lead to flooding. The city also encourages residents check up on neighbors to make sure everyone is safe and accounted for during the storm.
Emergency responders are also asking residents to only dial 911 for emergency situations. For information on shelters, evacuations, and other storm-related needs, dial 211. For all other city-related matters, call 311.