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Larchmont volunteer steps up to help manage Florida storm shelters as Irma nears

Ed Merians is an experienced Red Cross worker who has devoted his free time to helping those in need

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As the threat of Hurricane Irma draws closer to home, volunteers from across the Hudson Valley are preparing to help out those in need.

Longtime Red Cross volunteer Ed Marians says he received a last minute phone call from the Red Cross on Wednesday morning and only had enough time to pack basic essentials before heading down to Florida.

For the past 11 years, Marians have devoted all of his free time to volunteering and helping others.

His task in Florida will be managing one of the 100 Red Cross shelters that will be opening up across the state, learning from his experience as a shelter manager through both Superstorm Sandy and Irene.

"We get the stuff down there by any means. If it has to go by truck, if it has to go by air, we have an emergency response vehicle that has already departed full of supplies," Marians said.

Though Ed admits he's nervous about the storm, he says his job is most rewarding when he witnesses people coming together.

“When tragedy strikes and people are facing adversity in this country? It's amazing, it’s uplifting," Marians said.

People at home who want to help the victims of Hurricane Irma can donate money or supplies to the Red Cross.

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