CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Red Cross volunteers from the Piedmont are standing by to go to the Northeast if Hurricane Sandy causes massive damage there.

The storm from the ocean is expected to combine with a winter storm coming from the west to create a massive weather event around New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

One logistics volunteer from the 15-county Charlotte Red Cross region already left Saturday morning to do advance planning. Three more left Saturday night, and two more will leave Sunday morning.

The latter five volunteers will help set up and maintain shelters for evacuees. They will stage in White Plains, New York, until they are dispatched to where they are needed.

In all, as many as 50 volunteers could respond from the Charlotte area. Twenty to 30 are currently standing by.

Two of the region s Emergency Response Vehicles, or ERV s, are also on standby. The trucks distribute meals to evacuees, volunteers, and victims in the hardest-hit areas.

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