Two local American Red Cross volunteers are now head to the Caribbean to help with the relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.

They are the first from our area to make the trip.

Both volunteers have been doing relief work following Hurricane Irma in Florida.

One will be moving to Puerto Rico, the other will fly to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About 90 Red Cross volunteers from our region have helped out in Texas and Florida following hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

But this will be the first time local volunteers have  been deployed in the aftermath of Maria.

And they will be facing major challenges, including just getting to the disaster zones.

Pam Masi, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of NWPA said,"
Right now we're not sending anyone but experienced volunteers down  to Puerto  Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Too many hardships and also they are asking for a three week deployment. It is a very difficult for people to leave for that long. So it is just the experienced teams going down."

The local volunteers headed to the Caribbean are expected to help provide counseling services, shelter and distribute relief supplies.