The Red Cross prepares for Hurricane Irma

The American Red Cross serving Central Texas opened a shelter to flood victims at Parker Lane United Methodist Church Sunday, May 29, 2016. (KXAN File Photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) — As the American Red Cross continues helping people recover from Hurricane Harvey, the organization is now getting ready to respond as powerful Hurricane Irma nears the United States.

In North Carolina, the Red Cross has set up a statewide relief operation based in Charlotte. They’re working closely with government officials and community partners to coordinate potential response efforts. Supplies are now being staged across the state so they can be dispatched quickly should shelters be opened.

“The Red Cross continues to monitor Hurricane Irma closely and is prepping as if the storm will be destructive in North Carolina,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern NC. “We encourage the community to take the next few days to prepare their homes and families.”

You can donate to the Red Cross by going to its website, calling 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or texting 90999 to donate $10. The money goes toward recovery efforts.

If you’d like to help in your community, find your local chapter of the Red Cross online and ask what you can do to support its work. Some may not be prepared to accept donations or coordinate volunteer efforts, so check first before taking action.