YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Fred Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—many caring people in this world.”
One of those helpers is Elizabeth Anderson, a 36-year Yorktown resident who arrived in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Tuesday afternoon to help with evacuation efforts before Hurricane Florence made landfall on Thursday night/Friday morning.
As of Wednesday, Hurricane Florence was expected to cause historic flooding on the eastern seaboard. Mandatory evacuations were ordered in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
“I’m going to Myrtle Beach and I’m helping to set up and assist with an evacuation shelter,” Anderson, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, told Yorktown News on Tuesday, shortly before boarding a plane at Westchester County Airport.
Hurricane Florence has drawn comparisons to Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that devastated the greater Houston area last year. Anderson, though, said she and the Red Cross are prepared.
“What’s been so impressive to me is the amount of organizations and mobilization of agencies,” Anderson said. “Every time something like this happens, it’s so awesome to see how they take everything in, they revamp, they retrain, and they set up a different model.”
Anderson said she hasn’t given much thought to where she will specifically be when the hurricane makes landfall.
“I am open to anything,” she said. “I have my sleeping bag and I am ready to go.”
Anderson said she has experience setting up shelters in Westchester County, but this was her first time travelling out of state with the Red Cross.
“The Red Cross was very attractive to me in terms of its mission,” Anderson said. “I can’t tell you what a privilege it is to work with people who are so dedicated to helping people.”