OHIO VALLEY — Many weather experts predict a destructive wildfire and hurricane season this year. The American Red Cross needs volunteers to help on the ground and blood donors to roll up a sleeve to maintain a stable blood supply in the face of emergencies, according to a news releaes from the organization.
“We’re preparing for another extremely busy disaster season, and it’s critical to have a trained, ready volunteer workforce to make sure we can provide relief at a moment’s notice,” said Erica Mani, chief executive officer, Central Appalachia Region of the American Red Cross. “This year’s wildfire season is already very active and dangerous because of the severe drought and dry woodlands across the west. And experts are predicting we could see 10 or more hurricanes in the upcoming weeks.”
Shelter volunteers and health professionals needed The Red Cross needs new volunteers to support disaster shelters. Volunteers will help with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside disaster shelters. Both entry- and supervisory-level opportunities are available.
The Red Cross also needs volunteers who can work in disaster shelters to address people’s health needs and provide hands-on care in alignment with their professional licensure (registered nurse and licensed practical nurse/licensed vocational nurse). Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available. If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with a current and unencumbered license, this position could be right for you.
After most disasters this year, the Red Cross plans to open group shelters. However, in some communities, hotels may be more appropriate if the risk of COVID-19, including the delta variant, is particularly high. The Red Cross will also continue many of the safety precautions implemented in 2020, including masks, health screenings, enhanced cleaning procedures and encouraging social distancing.
Disaster action team member
Local Disaster Action Teams provide 24-hour emergency response to local disasters, particularly home fires, ensuring that those affected have access to resources for basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. If you are team-oriented and want to help your neighbor, the DAT responder may be just the thing for you.
Last year, the Central Appalachia Region provided immediate emergency assistance to over 1,200 families who experienced home fires and other disasters.
If you want to make a difference and are interested in helping your community should a disaster occur here at home or across the country, please visit redcross.org/volunteer or contact our area offices at (304) 340-3650 or email email@example.com.
Blood donors needed
Wildfires, record-breaking heat and a busy hurricane season can also impact the nation’s blood supply. On top of the toll extreme weather events take on the lives of millions, disasters can cause blood drive closures or prevent donors from being able to give safely. Eligible donors can help overcome the critical need for blood and ensure blood is readily available by making an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Aug. 16-31 include:
Gallipolis — Aug. 17, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Gallia County Health Department, 499 Jackson Pike, Suite D; Aug. 19, 12:30-6 p.m., Saint Peters Episcopal Church, 541 2nd Avenue; Aug. 23, 1:30-6 p.m., River of Life United Methodist Church, 35 Hillview Drive.
Pomeroy — Aug. 18, 1:30-6 p.m., Mulberry Community Center, 260 Mulberry Avenue.
Information provided by the American Red Cross.