Local groups including the Red Cross and South Carolina National Guard prepare to help out during the cold weather

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2017

SOUTH CAROLINA (WRDW/WAGT) -- With freezing temperatures in the area several groups are stepping in to help, including the Red Cross and the South Carolina National Guard.

Disaster Program Manager for the Ailken Red Cross John Madrid said, "In Orangeburg we've got a shelter that's operating in the evenings, we had it open last night and it will be open again tonight. Last night the red cross had a shelter open in Jasper and we have some personnel who are prepared to deploy down there to assist."

This is just the latest Red Cross relief effort in the past six months.

They are still helping with fires and hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

"We're still doing disaster assessment there, trying to see what the current needs are trying to see what's not working whether its electricity or clean water," said Madrid.

As the Red Cross continues to help, Governor Henry McMaster has activated the South Carolina National Guard.

Batallion Administrative Officer for the Edgefield National Guard Captain Sean Easley said, "What that meant for us was more for us to get ready, be preemptive start planning, start looking at personnel that we have available, our equipment our assests."

The Edgefield National Guard will be one of the first from the state to help during the cold because of the equipment they have.

"We would use our wrecker assets to pull vehicles off the road, debris removal assets, so chainsaws removing trees," said Easley.

Now it's just a matter of time.

"Right now we're postured, we have assets available we look at our field quantities our capabilities and we're just waiting on the call," said Easley.

Captain Easley says they have more than 100 hundred soldiers on stand-by if they are called to help.