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Volunteers and Blood Donors Needed for Disaster Season

By Staff | Aug 18, 2021

PARKERSBURG, WV, MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2021 –Many weather experts predict a destructive wildfire and hurricane season this year. The American Red Cross needs volunteers to help on the ground and blood donors to roll up a sleeve to maintain a stable blood supply in the face of emergencies.

“We’re preparing for another extremely busy disaster season, and it’s critical to have a trained, ready volunteer work force to make sure we can provide relief at a moment’s notice,”said Sharon Kesselring, Executive Director, Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. “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.

“SHELTER VOLUNTEERS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS NEEDED 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.

Both entry-and supervisory-level opportunities are available.

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 acurrent 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.

BLOOD DONORS NEEDED Wildfires, record-breaking heat and a busy hurricane season can also impact the nation’s blood supply. On top of the toll extreme weather events take on the lives of millions, disasters can cause blood drive closures or prevent donors from being able to give safely. Eligible donors can help overcome the critical need for blood and ensure blood is readily available by making an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.