By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer
August 7, 2020- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an “extremely active” hurricane season with the potential to be one of the busiest on record, according to the agency’s annual August update.
In order to prepare, the Northern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross is seeking volunteers able to train as shelter service or disaster health supervisors and associates. They must also be willing to deploy.
Already, 12 Northern Ohio volunteers responded to Hurricane Isaias, most of whom are physically deployed.
According to this press release, the NOAA now expects 19-25 named storms for the season, which ends November 30. 7-11 are anticipated to become hurricanes, including 3-6 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater.
This year’s storms are also expected to be stronger and longer-lived than average. While the outlook does not forecast landfall, we must be ready.
Whether you are a current Red Cross volunteer or interested in becoming one, please consider applying for the following positions. If you have any family members or friends who may be interested, please speak to them as well.
As always, the Red Cross is committed to providing safe shelter following a disaster and is taking steps to keep shelter residents, volunteers, and staff safe during the pandemic, including using non-traditional shelters where possible. No matter the type of shelter used, volunteers are needed to help staff reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection, and other vital tasks to help those impacted by a disaster. Associate and supervisory level opportunities are available.
Disaster Health Services
The Red Cross needs licensed medical professionals for a number of volunteer roles. These include:
- Helping assess people’s health and providing hands-on care in alignment with professional licensure (RN and LPN/LVN).
- Assisting with daily living activities, personal assistance services, providing health education, and helping to replace medications, durable medical equipment, or consumable medical supplies.
- And possibly performing daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents.
Both supervisory and associate positions are available. If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO, or PA with an active, current, and unencumbered license, please consider volunteering. Ancillary roles are available locally for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses, and medical students. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.
If you are able to help or would like more information, please go to redcross.org/volunteertoday. The Red Cross covers travel and training expenses.