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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Charities from our area are already preparing to help victims of Hurricane Irma. And coming right after Harvey, this is a challenging time for some of them. But there are ways you can get involved.

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“It has been storm after storm,” said Dan Tobin from the American Red Cross in Pittsburgh.

CBS’s Kenneth Craig Reports —


He says their busy season began with the Midtown Towers apartment fire Downtown. Then, numerous floods in our area this summer, followed by a train derailment in Bedford County.

Then, of course, Hurricane Harvey and now Irma.

“It’s been a busy season,” said Tobin. “We’re able to keep up with it thankfully. We have about 2,000 volunteers in this area.”

“Of course, people are getting a little tired,” added Tobin. “We could use a break from storms.”

Forty-four volunteers from the Pittsburgh region went to help Harvey victims. So did three of their five biggest vehicles.

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And, now, with Irma’s potential impact, they’re asking for volunteers willing to take a class and possibly go to Florida or South Carolina to help.

They’ll go through a “boot camp” training course and that way they’ll be ready to go, if they’re needed.

The first classes begin this Saturday. You can register online at

Meantime, the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team is also heading out again.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Bryce Lutz)

They just brought dogs from Texas to Pittsburgh on Monday. Now they’re going to South Carolina to help evacuate dogs from shelters there and take them to New Jersey.

“We didn’t know Irma was coming, and we were diverted off the Texas route a little bit, but that’s fine because were still saving dogs,” said Ralph Harlan Jr., from Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue. “We’ll keep doing this as long as we can do it with our private lives, and as long as the resources are available to us.”

And on Pittsburgh’s North Side, Brother’s Brother Foundation is getting a massive shipment of face masks, hard hats and goggles ready to go to Texas, where people are repairing homes.

“It is hard to say here are two big hurricane disasters in the United States within two weeks of each other,” said Luke Hingson from Brother’s Brother. “Very hard, but people need to help and Americans care about each other.”

They need more money to pay for the shipping of supplies that companies are donating.

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Hingson said, “A lot of people have given to us already. We are so grateful, but at the time of our first request, we did not know Irma was coming. And now we do know.”

David Highfield