GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- Responding to a crisis is nothing new for volunteers at the Red Cross.
Tuesday a volunteer from Greenville, Dori Baumwart, is making her way to Puerto Rico to walk with the people there through this trauma.
Hurricane Fiona left a trail of destruction in Puerto Rico, triggering an island-wide blackout and major flooding.
Volunteers say with this type of devastation, sometimes it takes months and even years to recover.
“It takes away that feeling of safety tremendously. It takes a long time to get that feeling of safety back in your life again,”
Baumwart hopes to lend a helping hand in time of need.
“There are many of us now, hundreds that are coming from all over the United States to be there so we can help, and I’m so glad to be one of them,” Baumwart said.
She’s a 7-year Red Cross volunteer from the Upstate, who was in Puerto Rico this exact time 5 years ago, when Hurricane Maria swept through.
“It was shocking to see it still, and it had been a month maybe after the hurricane. It hurt in my core to know what people had gone through,” Baumwart said.
She says her role in the next two weeks will be spiritual direction, serving the people in Puerto Rico through prayer and emotional support.
“We might ask them some questions about what happened next or what did you do after that. It helps them to be able to talk about it and that’s what we do,” Baumwart said.
She says in her experience as a volunteer, the mental trauma of a severe storm causes just as much hurt as the physical damage does.
Dori Baumwart said, “It takes away their comfort in life, where before they knew, they were going to go home, they were going to close the door, they’d be in there, they’ll go to sleep and get up the next day, what a routine that people get into in their lives rightfully so. That’s what we do..”
Red Cross says they have dozens of volunteers on standby ready to go to Puerto Rico if needed.
If you would like to help the people in Puerto Rico after the hurricane, click here.