The American Red Cross is recruiting volunteers for disasters. There is a specific need for volunteers willing to deploy to a hurricane response during the coronavirus atmosphere.
“Just as we urge people who live in disaster prone areas to prepare, the American Red Cross prepares to respond to disasters all over the country. Part of that process is to ensure that we have enough trained volunteers ready to lend a hand,” stated Lynne Gump, executive director of the Miami Valley Chapter, which includes Champaign County.
Now into hurricane and wildfire season, the goal is to ensure a volunteer workforce not only trained to provide comfort and support to those affected by disaster, but also that can do so by following new protocols to help keep everyone safe in this situation.
Those interested in volunteering are asked to review the CDC guidance for people at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider, and follow local guidance.
Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, additional precautions and special training have been established.
Associate and supervisory volunteers are needed to staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks.
The Red Cross is looking for RNs, LPNs, LVNs, APRNs, NPs, EMTs, paramedics, MDs/DOs and PAs with active, current and unencumbered licenses. 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 be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.
Roles are also available for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses and medical students. Volunteers 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.
If interested in helping should a disaster occur, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday. The Red Cross is looking for a commitment of at least a 14-day block between now and December.
Submitted by Miami Valley Chapter, American Red Cross.