Experts say California is in for a busy wildfire season this summer and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help.
“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 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 their volunteer 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. The Red Cross has both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.
Those with medical training like RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, are also needed. 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.
Those interested in helping their community should a disaster occur, can go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.