Helping the helpers: American Red Cross needs volunteers for hurricane season

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NEW ORLEANS– Hurricane season is upon us. American Red Cross is gearing up to help, and they need our help this hurricane season. WGNO’s Kenny Lopez explains how they need volunteers.

When the storms roll in, the American Red Cross is always ready to help.

“Just because we are in a Covid-19 environment, that doesn’t mean disasters stop. So right now we are in preparedness mode,” Katy Sandusky, Interim Director of Communications & Marketing with the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of American Red Cross said.

To help others, the American Red Cross needs your help because the pandemic has made things more difficult.

“Typically we bring in volunteers from around the country. In this pandemic environment with travel restrictions changing, we don’t know if we’ll be able to rely on that model,” Sandusky said.

Right now if a disaster happens American Red Cross is putting people in hotels, but if a hurricane hits.

“If we have a larger scale disaster, we need to move into a sheltering model. We will have more people needing shelter, but we will be practicing social distancing. That means we’ll need more volunteers to help at the multiple shelters to help give people the immediate assistance they need,” she said.

They’re especially in need of volunteers who are young, healthy and do not have any pre-existing health conditions. They are also looking for health care professionals to help at the shelters.

“There’s no group of people who are more compassionate than Louisiana residents. We need you to show that compassion right now and volunteer with the Red Cross to help in an event of a larger scale disaster like a hurricane,” Sandusky said.

The American Red Cross Headquarters on Canal is currently closed to keep their workforce safe.

“We’re actually still responding in this virtual environment. Even though our service model is different, we are still meeting all the immediate needs,” she said.

And with your help, that’ll help the American Red Cross be even more ready!

If you’re interested in helping to volunteer at a shelter and if you’re a healthcare professional, click HERE.

To learn more about all volunteer opportunities with the American Red Cross, click HERE.

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