YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)- With Hurricane Laura gaining strength as it bears down on the Gulf Coast, Red Cross volunteers from northern Ohio are getting ready to help.

So far, more than a dozen of those volunteers have been deployed to portions of Louisiana and Texas ahead of Laura’s arrival, which could happen early Thursday morning, as a category 4 hurricane.

Part of their job at this point is to have shelters, equipment and other supplies ready to go when the storm hits.

“They have more than a dozen teams that are working setting up multiple shelter sites throughout the area that they’re affected, going to be affected by the hurricane,” said Kristen Gallagher, local spokesperson for the American Red Cross.

A second wave of volunteers, who are now getting ready here at home, will deploy to the Gulf after Laura makes landfall to offer help directly to storm victims.

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