CHICAGO (CBS) — American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois lends a helping hand as Southeast states brace for the threat of Hurricane Matthew.

Help begins with getting volunteers to the area, said American Red Cross Communications Manager Patricia Kemp. These people are experienced in building shelters and providing food to those in need, WBBM’s Andy Dahn reports.

“We have at least three volunteers right now that are currently en route to the coastal communities to help them prepare shelters and any other disaster response in preparation before Matthew makes landfall.”

But besides running towards the storm to help, there are other ways to contribute closer to home.

Red Cross blood drives will likely take a hit as the dangerous weather forces many to close, Kemp said. Blood donations will provide a help after the storm, while the states rebuild.

“To keep that blood supply up, people here can donate blood,” Kemp said. “Find a location and a blood drive that’s convenient for you.”

Volunteers are always welcome and monetary donations will go a long way in relief efforts, Kemp added.

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