Newly trained Red Cross Wisconsin volunteer takes off for Florid - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Newly trained Red Cross Wisconsin volunteer takes off for Florida

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As the need for relief continues in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, there is a new need in Florida as forecasters predict Hurricane Irma could head for the sunshine state this weekend.  

Thursday morning on Wake Up Wisconsin, we're catching up with Mike Wentland.  He's a newly certified volunteer for Red Cross Wisconsin.  Mike was inspired to join the Red Cross after watching what Harvey did to the Texas coast.  He signed up online and soon found himself in the new flash training that only took a few hours.  Mike was then told to wait for a call for deployment.  He expected to head to Texas but the Red Cross is instead sending him to Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma.  Mike said his wife is taking on the extra workload to allow him to commit at least two weeks to his efforts.  The Red Cross requires a two week commitment for each deployment but it is possible that he will stay longer.

The Red Cross reports that they usually have about 12,000 new volunteers sign up each month but had 35,000 interested and that massive number caused their site to fail.  They are working to restore the sign up process so that they can get more volunteers through training and to the front lines.

27 Stormtrack meteorologist Star Derry will speak to Mike live before he takes off from the airport for Florida to volunteer.  She will also have more information if you would like to help volunteer efforts.  

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