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Red Cross needs volunteers heading into hurricane, wildfire season

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Experts say the nation is in for a busy wildfire and hurricane season this summer and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help in the local community and across the country.

“The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur. The Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community,” said Evelyn Miller, Western Kentucky Red Cross Executive Director. “Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.”

There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. 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 the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce.

We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.

The Red Cross needs RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license. Volunteers are needed in shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.

Roles are also available for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses and medical students. We need volunteers 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.

When people leave their homes during an emergency, they take their pets with them. The Red Cross is looking for established partner organizations to support the pet sheltering effort.

Two Virtual Open Houses are available to learn more about volunteer opportunities on Wednesday from noon-1 p.m. and Thursday from 7-8 p.m., to register or if for questions, please contact Stacy Taylor-Bernard, Sr. Volunteer Recruitment Specialist at 502-612-9202 or

Those interested are asked to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult a health care provider and follow local guidance.

— Staff report