KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Here in East Tennessee many are trying to find ways to help hurricane victims. One woman who moved here after living through Hurricane Charlie is now doing her best to give back.

Elizabeth Dressel lives in Knoxville, but she is originally from Florida. Her family and friends back home have been impacted by Hurricane Ian, so Dressel is heading down to Florida to try and help.

“So, I was born in Cape Coral, Florida which is where the hurricane hit and caused a lot of destruction down there,” Dressel said. “It’s right beside Fort Myers.”

Dressel and her mom moved to Tennessee right after Hurricane Charlie in 2004.

“I was probably in elementary school at that time, but I remember we were watching our neighbor’s roof get ripped off of their house,” she said.

She adds that going through that hurricane was traumatizing. Now, Ian has ripped through her hometown.

“All of my family still lives there,” Dressel stated. “My dad lives there, my sister, and my brother. So, they’re all dealing with the aftermath currently… they’re saying that people are going to be without power down there for possibly months because the infrastructure is just so damaged.”

She said that contact with her family has been limited.

“I’ve not been able to talk to them very much because cell service is really bad. My sister lives on pine island, which they’ve been talking about Matlacha and Pine Island on the news a bit, and she’s actually stuck on the island because the road that leads to the bridge has actually completely collapsed and washed out,” Dressel explained. “My brother is a firefighter down there and he told me he was in tears yesterday searching the wreckage.”

Her sister and other family members have sent her photos of downed trees and boats on the road. Dressel said her family is just happy to be alive. Now, she’s packing her bags and heading down south to help.

“My plan is actually to drive down there on Monday. I have a trailer that I’m trying to fill with supplies. So, if anyone would like to donate, that’s kind of my goal is to hopefully fill up this trailer with supplies.” she explained.

Dressel’s asking for water, flashlights, and gas cans along with anything else people are willing to donate.

“The majority of these items are really going to go to the people that need them the most and it’s going to be distributed through my brother through the fire department.”

Dressel said she’s nervous about seeing the damage in person but is ready to get to work, to help those impacted the most.

“It’s devastating everything that’s happened down there so even just saying a prayer for these people means a lot.”

Dressel works as an ICU nurse. She said the reason she’s decided to do this is because she just likes helping people. If you would like to donate, you can message her on Facebook here or call her at 239-848-8841.