With many experts predicting a busy wildfire season this summer, the American Red Cross is recruiting 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,” said Jennifer Adrio, Regional CEO, American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region. “Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.”
There are a number of areas where volunteers are needed.
Shelter Help: 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, they have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for the workforce.
The Red Cross needs volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those they serve. There are both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.
Health Services: 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 organization 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.
If you are interested in helping your community should a disaster occur, go to 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. The number one priority of the Red Cross is the health and safety of its employees, volunteers and the people they serve.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The American Red Cross of the Central Coast serves the residents of 15 counties including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Stanislaus. For more information, visit the website at redcross.org/norcalcoastal or call 831-624-6921. You may also find them on Facebook and Twitter.