It's 4:30 on Monday afternoon, and George Philpott, 64, is "bushed."
But he's OK with that.
The Rock Hill resident is one of three disaster-response volunteers the Upper Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross has sent to the North Carolina cities of Raleigh, Sanford and Colerain to help in the aftermath of killer storms and tornadoes that swept through the region Saturday. The chapter also sent four emergency response vehicles.
"We got up here last night (Sunday) at midnight," Philpott said by phone Monday from Colerain. "We've been out ever since."
The death toll totaled at least 44 across six southeastern states. At least 21 were killed in North Carolina - destruction unmatched by any spring storm since the mid-1980s.
As Philpott handed out food Monday to people who lost their homes, and even some who lost family members or friends, other problems seemed small.
"I wish I could give you a sense of how it is through my eyes," he said. "But the thing that always strikes me is the resiliency of the people who have literally been blown away - friends, family who have gotten killed, who have had their worldly possessions spread over three or four acres of land. It's amazing the sense of calm and resolve."
On Monday morning, the emergency response started to come together, he said. At first, there weren't many signs of activity with cleaning up or restoring power lines. By afternoon, there were.
"The shock is still there," Philpott said. "It's a devastating thing."
Mainly, Philpott has been involved with food distribution, but he said there were "quite a number of people" in the shelters.
Today, Red Cross volunteers will team up with the Salvation Army and other groups to open kitchen sites. Mobile food sites contained in the emergency response vehicles also will be in operation.
In addition to food, the volunteers have been handing out cleanup kits with brooms and mops for those who still have homes, and comfort kits with personal items for men, women and children. They've also helped provide shelter, emergency medication and mental health counseling.
Rebecca Melton, director for the Rock Hill-based Red Cross chapter, said they are looking into long-term assistance for people whose homes have been destroyed.
The volunteers probably will be there for two weeks, but depending on the need, it could be months, she said.
Philpot has been volunteering with the Red Cross for six years and said when people need help, he has the time.
Helping people in their darkest hours is important, no matter where they live, Melton said.
"We are one Red Cross," she said. "We help regardless of where the need is. We may need help in our community, and other volunteers and supporters will be willing to help us here as well. We never know when it's going to happen to us."
Philpott can't do enough, and he's heard many "thank-yous."
"That is the overriding comment," he said. "When you drive away and someone forgot to say it, they make an effort to run up and say it.
"Then, you look behind them and see their house in a little pile."
The Associated Press contributed