LaShauna Sewell, News9.com

ENID, Oklahoma -- Two American Red Cross volunteers left Enid early Wednesday morning for North Carolina to help residents prepare for Hurricane Irene.

Diana Mitchell and Patrick O'Neal will help with hurricane preparation and response. American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma spokesperson Rusty Surette says the two left around 6 a.m. They're driving a disaster relief vehicle to the east coast.

Mitchell is a registered nurse from Waukomis. She's been a Red Cross volunteer for eight months and in that time has been a part of emergency response teams for two major tornados. Mitchell says volunteering can be difficult, but she enjoys the work and encourages everyone to do it.

"I think people should get out and do it. It's awesome. You get to see a lot of country; you get to meet a lot of neat people, a lot of unusual people."

Two teams from the Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross also left for North Carolina Wednesday morning.

Hurricane Irene is now a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 115 mph. It's expected to hit North Carolina over the weekend and could strengthen more by that time.