This week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week (April 30-May 6) and the American Red Cross of Louisiana is doing a call for volunteers to help respond during hurricane season, which starts June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. As the number of climate disasters increase on a near-constant basis, oftentimes before the designated start of the season, Louisiana Red Cross is growing its volunteer capacity to respond to these emergencies and provide relief and hope when it matters most.
“Volunteers are at the heart of our mission, representing 90% of our workforce and consistently responding to provide safe shelter, food and comfort after disasters all over the country,” says Shawn Schulze, Chief Executive Officer of Louisiana Red Cross. “We all know how unpredictable our weather can be, so our team at the Louisiana Red Cross is also getting prepared by recruiting and training new volunteers to help update response plans, and to refresh our stock of relief supplies including cots, blankets and cleaning supplies, so we’ll be ready when the time comes.”
These are the most-needed disaster volunteer positions:
- DISASTER ACTION TEAM: While big hurricanes get the most news coverage, smaller disasters such as home fires are no less devastating to those affected. Join your local Disaster Action Team to help families in need by providing food, lodging, comfort, recovery assistance and other support.
- SHELTER SUPPORT: Help at a shelter during a large disaster by welcoming and registering residents, serving meals, setting up cots, distributing blankets and personal hygiene kits, and providing information and other assistance to people in need.
- HEALTH SERVICES: Use your professional skills as a licensed health care provider to deliver hands-on support, including care and education to people staying at a shelter during a large disaster.
- Visit redcross.org/volunteer to sign up now.
Follow these steps to help make sure that you and your family are prepared:
- First, create an evacuation plan. Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency or if you need to evacuate.
- Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants or pets, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
- Stay informed. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency app to have severe weather safety information right at your fingertips.The Emergency app provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe during severe weather and countless other emergencies. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.
- You can find more hurricane safety information here.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.