American Red Cross needs volunteers for national deployments heading into hurricane, wildfire season

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The American Red Cross says they need hundreds of volunteers for national deployments in preparation for the hurricane and wildfire season.

The American Red Cross of Missouri-Arkansas is recruiting volunteers to deploy across the nation.

According to a news release sent by the American Red Cross Monday, experts predict it will be a busy hurricane and wildfire season this summer.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of volunteers currently available to deploy is greatly reduced, so we are asking individuals who are healthy and available to consider joining the American Red Cross as a temporary disaster volunteer now,” said Lori Arnold, Greater Arkansas executive director. “If it’s something you have been thinking about doing, you are needed now more than ever.”

Volunteers need to be able to be able to deploy for 14 days and work eight to 12-hour shifts.

Three hours of virtual training, or six hours for supervisors, will be required before they are deployed.

A pre-health screening will also happen.

If you are interested in volunteering, please review the CDC guidance for people who are at a higher risk for severe illness and talk to your doctor to determine if you should be deployed.

The Red Cross says they primarily need volunteers to support sheltering efforts.

Officials say because of COVID-19, they are primarily putting people needing a place to stay in emergency hotel lodging.

If hotel stays aren’t possible, traditional shelters will be opened, officials say.

Additional precautions will be in place and special training has been developed.

The Red Cross says the shelters need volunteers to staff reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collecting and other tasks. Both associate and supervisory-level opportunities are available, officials say.

Volunteers with health care backgrounds are needed in shelters to help assess health and provide hands-on care in alignment with professional licensures, according to officials.

The Red Cross says they specifically need volunteers who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters.

“If you are available to support various shelter operation staffing needs or are a healthcare worker who can deploy to areas affected by hurricanes and wildfires this summer, the Red Cross needs you to volunteer now,” said Arnold. “Additional training, COVID-19 safety protocols and health measures will be in place for safety. Our number one priority for the Red Cross is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.”

If you are interested in volunteering, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday or contact Stephanie Vardaman at 501-529-7946 or stephanie.vardaman@redcross.org.

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