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Many weather experts predict a destructive disaster season this year and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help. That need grows as Hurricane Ida causes problems on the Gulf Coast.
“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,” Gino Greco, CEO of the American Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming. “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.”
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.
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.
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 Colorado and Wyoming region provided immediate emergency assistance to 2,407 people after 551 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 contact our local chapter at COWVS@redcross.org.
The American Red Cross shelters feed and provide comfort to victims of disasters; supply about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distribute international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on Twitter at @RedCross.