FRESNO, Calif (KSEE/KPGE) – As Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida, American Red Cross volunteers have opened their doors to evacuees; providing food, shelter, water, and other resources.

Volunteers come from all over the country, and two Visalia men Ray and Bill have made the journey cross country to help those affected.

“They packed their bags usually within a day’s notice and got on an airplane. A lot of volunteers think there’s nowhere else they’d rather be. They know what to do and how to help in these moments,” said Taylor Poisall with the American Red Cross.

For Bill, this trip is especially meaningful. He grew up in Florida and now gets to return to help those in need.

“He was really thrilled that he can have that full circle moment, now as a Red Cross volunteer, to go back and help the people he grew up around,” Poisall said.

According to Poisall, 13,000 people stayed at Red Cross evacuation shelters on Tuesday night. An influx is expected on Wednesday.

“Today is a big change in our operations. We’ve been preparing, and now the hurricane is here. A lot of these people have been evacuated more than once from hurricanes so they’re going through a lot emotionally,” Poisall said.

Volunteers like Bill and Ray will be in Florida for two weeks before another round of volunteers come in to take their place, providing more than just shelter.

“Our mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering, so, it’s nice when you’re able to help, give someone a hug…” Poisall said.

Red Cross was able to send 500 volunteers and a significant amount of supplies before the hurricane started and Poisall said they were to help thanks to donations. To donate, you can call check their website.