NEW HAVEN — The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers to help disaster victims this hurricane season, noting the need for local help is more urgent than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 Mario Bruno, CEO, American Red Cross in Connecticut and Rhode Island, in a release.
He urged people to “train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.” The Atlantic hurricane season last until Nov. 30, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The need is particularly great for licensed nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and doctors, officials said.
“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,” officials said.
The Red Cross is also seeking volunteers to help displaced people, as, due to the coronavirus, those needing a place to stay would be lodged in hotels instead of traditional shelters 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,” officials said. “We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.”
Officials asked that potential volunteers review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult health care providers and follow local guidance.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve,” officials said.