ST. LOUIS - As Tropical Storm Sally heads toward the Gulf Coast, the American Red Cross is getting ready to help people in the storm’s path while continuing to support the thousands of people still fighting to recover from Hurricane Laura in east Texas and Louisiana. “We are mobilizing additional relief supplies and workers to be ready to help”, states Regional Disaster Officer Chris Harmon. “Thousands of people impacted by Hurricane Laura are still staying in emergency lodging because they can’t return home and the Red Cross is working to make sure support for them continues”, Harmon went on to say.
Responding to disasters is a team effort and no single organization can do it alone — particularly in this current environment. The Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers and relief supplies to be ready to help.
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The American Red Cross of Missouri-Arkansas is recruiting members of the public to volunteer to deploy to help those expected to be affected by devastating disasters this summer.
Individuals need to be able to deploy for a 14-day period and work 8 to 12-hour shifts. Three hours of virtual training (six hours for supervisors) will be required prior to deployment and a pre-health screening will be conducted. Interested volunteers are asked to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, and consult their health care provider to determine if they should deploy.
The Red Cross primarily needs volunteers to support sheltering efforts, but other disaster response needs also exist. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then traditional shelters will be opened. To help keep people safe, additional precautions will be in place and special training has been developed to ensure protocols are followed.
For shelters, the Red Cross needs volunteers to staff areas including reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks. Both associate and supervisory level opportunities are available.
In Disaster Health Services, volunteers with health care backgrounds are needed in shelters to help assess individuals’ health and provide hands-on care in alignment with professional licensures (RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA). Specifically, volunteers are needed who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters; this could include assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medications, durable medical equipment or consumable medical supplies.
To volunteer, please go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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