Some are calling the category one hurricane taking aim on the Northeast the "Perfect Storm."
Janet McGuire of the Tampa Bay chapter of the American Red Cross doesn't need fancy nicknames to know Hurricane Sandy is the real deal.
"This is such a widespread storm that is going to cover a lot," McGuire explained. "There are millions of people who are going to be affected."
That's why her organization has sprung into action.
"We've sent at least nine of our volunteers up throughout the Northeast," McGuire added.
It's part of a coordinated effort by the Red Cross to send hundreds of volunteers from all over the country to the Northeast region of the United States in advance of the impending storm.
"We have vehicles on the way, ready to eat [meals] are being flown in and we're working with our community partners to be ready for this storm," said McGuire. "Hundreds of them are converging now so they can open shelters and stockpile food."
Fortunately the Red Cross isn't the only Bay area organization sending help. A crew of approximately 70 from Tampa Electric was deployed on Friday and they might send more if needed.
"Our folks of course know the ins and outs [of such storms]," said TECO Spokesperson Cherie Jacobs. "They know the kind of damage to expect."
When Sandy skirted the eastern part of Florida the TECO crews received new marching orders.
"Those same folks are on their way North to New Jersey to help First Energy to restore power after Sandy," Jacobs said.
It's all part of the tropical storm savvy volunteers and professionals from Florida have been employing for years. When residents of the Sunshine State need help in a post-storm situation our neighbors up north always lend hand, now we can return the favor.
"People love to help each other," McGuire says. "When it comes to something like this people want to help."
Travelers arriving and departing from Tampa International Airport have also felt the effects from Sandy.
At least 44 arrivals and 52 departures have been canceled for Monday, and that number could grow quickly. Many are destinations to the mid-Atlantic and the northeast, but there are also cancellations to places like New Orleans, Austin, Houston and Saint Louis.
If you have plans to fly at TIA, check online at http://www.tampaairport.com/flights/index.asp.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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