Volunteers needed for Red Cross ahead of hurricane season

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The American Red Cross is in need of volunteers amid the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for and help with hurricane season as it approaches.

“The coronavirus pandemic may 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,” said Barry Porter, Regional CEO, American Red Cross Eastern North Carolina.  “Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.”

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The Red Cross says there is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. During the current pandemic, the Red Cross has established new guidelines for sheltering, such as setting up more small shelters, each with fewer clients.

Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency lodging when possible. If necessary, the Red Cross will open shelters. However, to ensure proper social distancing, more shelter locations may be necessary and additional volunteers will be needed.

Volunteers will help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks. There are both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.

The Red Cross says they need people who are RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedics, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license. 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.

Here are the basic requirements for volunteering with the Red Cross:

  • Willing and able to work in person at a shelter
  • Minimum of 18 years of age
  • Willing and able to take abbreviated training including COVID -19 training and meet the qualification to obtain the one of the following disaster positions?
    • Shelter Service Associate
    • Shelter Supervisor
    • Disaster Health Services Service Associate
    • Disaster Health Services Supervisor
  • Once the position is obtained, able to keep availability updated in Volunteer Connection

Full information on volunteer opportunities is available here.

If you are interested in helping the Red Cross, go to redcross.org/volunteertoday to get started or contact encrecruit@redcross.org for more information.