Experts say we are in getting into the peak of a hyperactive hurricane season, and officials with the American Red Cross of the Alabama Mississippi region said the organization needs volunteers to help in the community. Red Cross volunteers work daily to provide food, supplies and other services to those in need.
“There’s really a job for everybody, whether you like helping brighten someone’s day or prefer arranging logistics in the background,” said Annette Rowland, director of communications, Alabama Mississippi region. “All offices are staffed virtually right now. Whether you want to manage a shelter, follow up with people on the worst day of their life to ensure they have the help they need, we have a position that fits your interest and skills.”
The following services need volunteers:
• Shelter help needed. There is a 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.
• 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.
• Furry friends shelters. When people leave their homes during an emergency, they take their pets with them. The Red Cross is looking for established partner organizations to support the pet sheltering effort.
Those interested in volunteering but have questions, can tune into a virtual “open house” at www.tinyurl.com/y914ttw4 on the third Thursday of each month. Visit www.redcross.org/volunteer for more information.
Officials ask volunteers to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult health care providers and follow local guidance.