‘On the frontlines:’ American Red Cross seeks volunteers amid hurricane season
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - An active 2021 hurricane season doesn’t end for another three months — plenty of time for disaster to strike.
Of course, Louisiana, unfortunately, is no stranger to experiencing catastrophe. Just last year, category 4 Hurricane Laura left dozens dead and communities leveled.
The storm left behind billions of dollars in damage.
For the American Red Cross, it’s not a matter of if the organization will respond to a dangerous storm in Louisiana, but when. Right now, the Red Cross is seeking volunteers to step up and lend a hand when that call for aid comes.
“We had volunteers impacted by last hurricane season where their homes were destroyed,” said Stephanie Fox, regional director of communications for the Red Cross. “They had no power, friends and family they could not even get a hold of.”
Currently, Fox said the organization is looking for volunteers to help in disaster shelters, assisting with reception, registration, food distribution and travel arrangements.
Medical professionals, such as nurses, doctors and EMTs are also in demand.
“We are all such a family, everyone is willing to step in and step up for one another,” Fox said. “We are welcoming of everybody, no matter your time, talent, or interest.”
The coronavirus pandemic is also continuing to alter the way the Red Cross prepares to respond to emergencies. The organization is laser focused on making sure those in need get the care and support they need, while also mitigating the spread of the virus.
“We’re having to ensure in shelters that we have added cleaning practices, that folks have adequate space to social distance, that we have enough volunteers in our local environment, so we’re not having to bring in folks from other states,” Fox explained.
The Red Cross is also searching for local action disaster team members. These volunteers are available 24/7 and respond to local disasters, like house fires, by providing vital essentials like food, shelter and clothing.
In 2020, 1,854 families and were aided by the Red Cross after 1,446 house fires and disasters.
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