Red Cross workers back from Hurricane Florence relief consider deployment to Hurricane Michael

Five workers from southwest Virginia spent weeks in North Carolina

ROANOKE, Va. – The Red Cross is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Michael, just days after some workers returned from Hurricane Florence relief efforts.

Steve Lovelace, who works in volunteer management for the Red Cross chapter in Roanoke and the New River Valley, saw Florence’s devastation firsthand in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

"Life gets back to normal within a few days, but just a few blocks away, there were houses that were just totally devastated," Lovelace said.

He's one of a handful of Red Cross workers from southwest Virginia deployed to help thousands recover from Florence. Like many volunteers, he spent two weeks in North Carolina and came home last Friday, exhausted.

"One day in particular we had about a thousand cots to clean. You know, once these shelters close down, we have to clean them up and pack them up for the next disaster," Lovelace said.

That's what they're faced with now, as Hurricane Michael is slamming into the southeast and barreling north. Many volunteers are now weighing their options of whether to stay or go.

"Some of these volunteers will need some recovery time, some of them may do a virtual deployment where they can help out here but if they can go, we encourage those trained volunteers to go and help out again," Jackie Grant, executive director for the Red Cross chapter in Roanoke and the New River Valley, said.

For some, though, there was never a question.

"When they saw that second storm coming, they immediately talked about their plans to return and help those folks that are devastated," Grant said.