PHILADELPHIA, PA | MONDAY, JULY 13, 2020 — Hurricane season is off to a record-breaking start with six named storms already, including Tropical Storm Fay that made landfall in New Jersey on Friday. Experts say the busy hurricane season will continue, and wildfire season in the Western U.S. is also expected to be severe. The American Red Cross needs volunteers to help in affected communities across the country and here at home.
“As we saw with Tropical Storm Fay last week, hurricane season is here, and we need to be ready. The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from certain parts of the country should an emergency occur,” said Guy Triano, CEO of the American Red Cross Southeastern PA Region. “Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help when the need arises.”
SHELTER HELP NEEDED There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce.
We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.
HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, the Red Cross needs your support. 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. We need volunteers who can 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.
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING We’re hosting a free online information session on Thursday, July 16 at 12:30 p.m. about volunteer opportunities available. To register or get more information on volunteering, contact our volunteer recruiters: Ned Bloom at 570-417-5608 Ne*******@re******.org or Monica Wildes at 215-299-4803 Mo***********@re******.org. You can also find out more by visiting redcross.org/volunteertoday.
Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider and follow local guidance. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.