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How Houstonians are helping Floridians deal with Hurrican Ian

The biggest need right now is gas money to get the initial team of 40 volunteers to Florida.

HOUSTON — Volunteers from Houston will be heading to Florida on Tuesday morning to help with the aftermath of what's expected to be a strong storm -- Hurricane Ian.

Many of them saw help pour in from out of state during Hurricane Harvey and said now it's time to return the favor.

“Today and tonight is about getting as much equipment as possible," Crowdsource Rescue's Paul Middendorf said.

Packing for a storm is never easy, but this isn’t Middendorf’s first rodeo.

“I started, as everyone did, during Hurricane Harvey," he said.

Now, he’s preparing to drive to Florida, awaiting what Ian will bring.

“It’s really important the first hour or two after the eye passes to get in there as quickly as possible," Middendorf said.

He’s part of a group of citizen volunteers that formed during Harvey.

“It’s a real simple model and it’s been quite effective over the years," one of the founders of Crowdsource Rescue Matthew Marchetti said.

The group still uses the same crowdsourcing technology to connect volunteers with people needing help.

“If you have a boat and want to go, hit us up, it’s just crowdsourcerescue.com/hurricanes. There will be needs for weeks and months and years to come," Marchetti said.

But even from home, there are ways you can help. The biggest need right now is gas money to get the initial team of 40 volunteers to Florida. A drive, Middendorf said, is just one small way he can give back.

“I always have a fondness for the folks in the south that came from Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, the Carolinas to Houston to help out during Harvey and you know we needed help for months," he said.

To read more about Crowdsource Rescue and how you can help, click here.

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