American Red Cross of East Tennessee prepares for eclipse viewers

KNOXVILLE - The total solar eclipse is just 11 days away and the American Red Cross says they're ready.

The celestial event will plummet part of the U.S. into total darkness, and during that time, anything can happen. 

You don't think of the upcoming solar eclipse as a disaster, but the Red Cross of East Tennessee is prepared for anything.

"We want the public to be prepared," said Executive Director Sharon Hudson. "Our volunteers are trained and equipped to turn on a dime if you will, to arrive at a location, to set up a shelter - we have cots, trailers."

Hudson and her team, which is made up of 90 percent volunteers, have been planning for Aug. 21 - the total solar eclipse - for months.

"With the partners we have, and with any large-scale event, we have planning that goes on before the event to ensure that if something does happen, we are prepared," said Hudson.

Thousands will descend upon East Tennessee, flooding into towns that don't usually see so many visitors at once.

The Red Cross plans to provide medical help.

"We always are able to response, we are equipped with CPR, any type of incident," said Hudson.

They're setting up multiple tents with medical supplies like automated external defibrillators in five different places within the path of totality - Vonore, Tellico Plains, Madisonville and Sweetwater.

And they'll have a tent on the Cherohala Skyway.

"It might be heat-related incidents, heat stroke, it's hard to say what the weather's going to be like, but we will be prepared for those types of incidents," said Hudson.

So it probably won't require shelters, but just in case, they're ready.

"When called upon, in any emergency, any disaster, the red cross does respond," said Hudson.

If you want more information on how to donate to the Red Cross of East Tennessee to help with disasters, head to their website.

Plus, they're always looking for volunteers to help serve.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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