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      Coastal Red Cross volunteers respond for Hurricane Isaac

      The Coastal South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross has sent four volunteers to the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Isaac nears.

      Two more are leaving on a 5pm flight out of Myrtle Beach.

      The volunteers will assist in relief efforts.

      Additional local volunteers and five Emergency Response Vehicles are on stand-by and are expected to deploy once the storm makes landfall.

      "We expect this to be a large disaster response and are prepared to help in any way we can," said Nanci Conley, Coastal SC Chapter executive director, American Red Cross, Columbia Region. "We train our volunteers year-round to be ready at a moment's notice to help when disasters strike in our backyard, as well as in areas around the country."

      Nationwide, the Red Cross has been preparing for Hurricane Isaac and has been mobilizing resources to potential risk areas since last Monday, according to Conley.

      Currently there are over 1,500 volunteers from areas around the country and 150 emergency response vehicles that have been deployed to the Gulf Coast states and Florida, she says. In addition, mobile kitchens and truckloads of relief supplies are on the way to Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi and more than 50 pre-positioned support trailers are ready with supplies. Overall, the Red Cross has opened 22 shelters and supported 20 community shelters and expects that number to continue to increase.

      The Red Cross is encouraging people to download its new Hurricane App to get instant access to hurricane safety steps and weather alerts for areas in the path of the storm. The free app, launched earlier this month, can be used on both iPhone and Android platforms.