Red Cross of Mo., Ark. deploys disaster volunteers to Gulf Coast

Red Cross of Mo., Ark. deploys disaster volunteers to Gulf Coast
Red Cross Disaster Relief (Source: Vic Gideon)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas is deploying to help those impacted by hurricanes in the Gulf Coast.

The Southeast Missouri Red Cross currently has two individuals deployed to support disasters across the country.

“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 for American Red Cross of Missouri-Arkansas. “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.”

The American Red Cross of Missouri-Arkansas is recruiting volunteers to help those expected to be affected by devastating disasters this year.

Individuals need to be able to deploy for a 14-day period and work 8 to 12-hour shifts.

Three hours of virtual training (six hours for supervisors) will be required prior to deployment and a pre-health screening will be conducted.

Interested volunteers are asked to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, and consult their health care provider to determine if they should deploy.

The Red Cross primarily needs volunteers to support sheltering efforts, but other disaster response needs also exist.

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 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.

For shelters, the Red Cross needs volunteers to staff 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 individuals' health and provide hands-on care in alignment with professional licensures, such as RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA.

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.

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