Thousands are fleeing from Florida and the Georgia coast.

Many of them are seeking shelter right here in Central Georgia.

With many hotels already booked, the Red Cross in opening shelters in Macon.

The first one opened Thursday night.

A handful of Red Cross Volunteers put tarps down, and unfolded cots to welcome evacuees to the east Macon Recreation Center.

“We're going to make sure they have a safe place to go,” Sarah Wynn with the Red Cross said. “We’re going to make sure they have something to eat and that they are safe.”

One of the first ones through the door, Judy Turner from Jacksonville Florida.

“We're scared it was going to hit, and of course it’s going to hit Jacksonville, so we left,” Turner said.

She and about 130 other people will call the rec center home for the next few days.

The Red Cross says more shelters will open as they are needed.

Friday morning the Red Cross plans to open another shelter at the North Macon Recreation Center.

“I’m very thankful to God that I have shelter here, shelter from the storm,” Turner said.

After the storm passes, she’s not sure what she will return home to.

“I'm worried about not having a place to go back, but that’s okay I know that God will supply all our needs,” Turner said.

While she waits to return, she will try and bring comfort to other at the shelter. She even helped unfold cots.

“If its only to put my arm around their shoulder, or hold their hand I know I can help them,” Turner said.

She is willing to lend a helping hand, and use her faith to get through it.

“Thank God I’m in Macon, Georgia,” Turner said.

The Red Cross scheduled two volunteer classes to certify people wishing to volunteer at the shelter.

Those classes are Friday at 9 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. at the Macon Bibb Government Center on Poplar street.