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Volunteers Needed for American Red Cross Disaster Services

A Red Cross Disaster Services Volunteer surveys storm damage. Photo provided by the American Red Cross

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The need for volunteers for American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts. The Red Cross says its experiencing increased needs due to predictions of a more active than normal hurricane season and the complexities of COVID-19.  

Becky Dungee, a Volunteer Recruitment Specialist with the ARC serving South Central Ohio, says “Ohio is a support region for large-scale disasters like hurricanes and wildfires – support because we do not experience these disasters in our area but we are great at helping across the country when they do happen.”  

Dungee explains the urgent need is for several reasons: 
It appears that Florida is in the path of Isaias. Current models show it will strike Florida late Saturday night or early Sunday morning and remain over the State for a day or two.  
Responses are already underway in Texas as a result of Hurricane Hanna and we also had sheltering in Hawaii due to Douglas with smaller responses in other places 
Covid-19 has stopped many of our regular volunteers who respond from participating due to their age or other health conditions  
Because of Covid-19 and safety guidelines shelter capacities have been decreased so we have to open more shelters to accommodate clients – opening more shelters means we need more volunteers. 

A Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteer organizes packets of items for distributing to those in need. Photo provided by the American Red Cross

Dungee adds the current urgent needs are for Shelter Associates – volunteers to help set up and run shelters and Health Services Associates – medical volunteers to help clients and monitor conditions. “These volunteers (Health Services) must have a current license, for example Registered Nurse, Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedics, etc.” 
American Red Cross deployments last for two weeks and volunteers are asked to commit to at least one deployment between now and the end of 2020. 

For more information, contact Dungee at

(Photos provided by the American Red Cross) 

Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteers measure for social distancing in a relief shelter. Photo provided by the American Red Cross