PITTSBURGH — Experts say we are in for a busy wildfire and hurricane season this fall and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help in the community.
The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur.
In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community, and to train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in the region.
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, it has put in place additional precautions and developed special training for its workforce.
The Red Cross needs volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those it serves. It has 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. The Red Cross needs 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 NEED HELP TOO – 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.
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING – If you are interested in helping the community should a disaster occur, please go to redcross.org/volunteertoday or contact the area offices by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
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. The Red Cross’ number one priority is the health and safety of its employees, volunteers and the people it serves.