Red Cross needs local volunteers due to COVID-19 as we head into hurricane season

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TUSCALOOSA, AL – MAY 02: Rosie Marie Spann interacts with a Red Cross volunteer at a Red Cross Shelter on May 2, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The shelter is housing more than 260 displaced people in the wake of massive storms that hit the Tuscaloosa area. Alabama, the hardest-hit of six states, is reported to have been battered with at least an EF-4 rated tornado with the death toll across the South rising to over 300 as a result of the storms. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS – Experts say we are in for a busy hurricane season this summer and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help in our community.

“The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur. In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community. Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.”

said Regional CEO Joshua Joachim.

Full information on volunteer opportunities is available here.

SHELTER HELP NEEDED There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. 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 the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce.

The Red Cross needs volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. They have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available. 

HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, the Red Cross needs your support. Volunteers are needed in shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.

Roles are also available for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses and medical students. The Red Cross needs volunteers 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.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING If you are interested in helping should a disaster occur, please go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.

Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider, and follow local guidance. The Red Cross’s number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.

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