The American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas is deploying volunteers to the Gulf Coast to support Texas and Louisiana as Hurricane Delta moves toward landfall.
As of Friday, more than 40 workers from across the Red Cross region are assigned to disaster response efforts including recovery efforts for hurricanes Laura and Sally and wildfire response and recovery on the West Coast.
The Arkansas Red Cross has deployed seven individuals, both physically and virtually, to support Hurricane Delta recovery efforts, according to a news release.
More than 165 people have deployed from the Missouri and Arkansas region since Aug. 20 for Hurricane Hanna and Isaias as well as the Midwest derecho.
"In anticipation of the devastation that may result from this latest hurricane, we are sending volunteers from Missouri and Arkansas to help and depending on the storm's impact, we anticipate more volunteers will be needed," said Chris Harmon, regional disaster officer. "Due to covid-19, the number of our current volunteers available to deploy is down. Healthy individuals who can deploy up to 14 days can join us as a temporary disaster volunteer."
Additional training, pandemic safety protocols and health measures are in place.
The Red Cross is recruiting volunteers to deploy to help those expected to be affected by devastating disasters this year.
Volunteers must be able to deploy for 14 days and will work 8- to 12-hour shifts. Three hours of virtual training -- six hours for supervisors -- will be required and a pre-health screening will be conducted. Interested volunteers are asked to review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, and consult their health care providers to determine if they should deploy.
The Red Cross primarily needs volunteers to help with sheltering the displaced, but other needs also exist. Because of the pandemic, the Red Cross is placing displaced people in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren't possible, then traditional shelters will be opened. To help keep people safe, additional precautions will be in place and special training has been developed to ensure protocols are followed.
The Red Cross needs volunteers to staff shelters in areas including reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks. Both associate and supervisory level opportunities are available.
In Disaster Health Services, volunteers with health care backgrounds are needed in shelters to help assess health needs and provide hands-on care in alignment with professional licensures including nurses, EMTs, paramedics, doctors or physician assistants. Specifically, volunteers are needed 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.
To volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.