The American Red Cross Upstate chapter has launched a project to prepare for what experts predict will be an active hurricane season, and it is recruiting volunteers to assist with disaster response and other services.
Executive director Lisa M. Colby said the chapter continues to provide humanitarian services during the Covid-19 pandemic and needs volunteers for three critical programs: blood drive screeners; disaster shelter volunteers; and disaster health services volunteers.
Screeners will take the temperatures of potential blood donors before they enter a blood drive facility. Training and personal protective equipment will be provided. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and are asked to commit to one shift of five or six hours a month.
Colby said the need to shelter individuals and families affected by hurricanes and other disasters is vital and involves unique challenges. Volunteers will provide day-to-day activities such as reception, registration, feeding, dormitory and other shelter services.
Free online training will be provided and, if the need arises, volunteers will be expected to work multiple shifts of four, six or 12 hours each in a local shelter. If available they might be asked to travel to communities outside of their local area.
The disaster health services program is recruiting licensed medical professionals to provide health care to shelter residents as needed. Free online training will be offered. Medical volunteers would be asked to work at local shelters with possible assignments elsewhere.
The chapter also needs individuals who have management experience to fill roles as shelter supervisors and health services supervisors.
The Red Cross recommends that applicants for in-person volunteer positions review CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for serious illness or to consult their personal physician and follow local requirements.
Interested individuals may apply for these positions or obtain more information online at http://www.redcross.org/volunteer.
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