As tropical storm Isaac approaches the Gulf, some East Tennesseans are looking to do whatever they can to help.

Loudon native John Manners left for Florida Thursday to participate in the Red Cross' volunteer effort. He said he is one of at least four other East Tennesseans who were to deployed to the Gulf Coast to help local residents.

"We are Red Cross ready," he said.

According to Manners, the Red Cross is prepared to open at least 100 storm shelters in the Tampa Bay area. However, he said the bulk of them will not be opened until the Red Cross knows exactly where to put them. The Red Cross also a "Red Cross Hurricane App" that residents in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac can use to see where storm shelters have been opened.

Red Cross Employee Diane Naus, a Knoxville native, is also in Florida assisting in the relief effort. She said her organization is currently dispatching its emergency response vehicle north from the Tampa area to Tallahassee as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to progress.

"Right now, it looks like the storm is going to be somewhere around the New Orleans area," she said.

Pike Electric has sent 11 crews to Clearwater Florida to help maintain utility lines. KUB told 10News it has yet to receive a call requesting the company's aid.

As East Tennesseans are helping Gulf Coast residents in advance of Isaac, one recent UT graduate said her family is in the path of the storm.

"It's not a great feeling," she said.

Graysi Gartman was supposed to move back to her hometown, Mobile, Alabama, Sunday, but she postponed the trip due to safety concerns. She said her family is even leaving their house due to an evacuation order handed down by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

"The house has never flooded," Gartman said. "So, we hope that we'll have good luck again."

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