CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With predictions for a busy hurricane season this year, the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers who can be ready to help if a storm should threaten the Lowcountry.
American Red Cross of South Carolina Lowcountry Chapter Executive Director Ashley Henyan says the pandemic will make it challenging to send trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country if a disaster were to happen in the Lowcountry.
“In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community in the Lowcountry,” Henyan said. “Hurricanes require heroes. Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.”
The Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help shelter efforts and to help with health services support:
- Shelter help: 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, the agency put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce. They need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks. There are both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.
- Health services support: If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, the Red Cross needs your support. 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. They 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.
Anyone interested in volunteering should go to redcross.org/volunteer. They can also contact Liz Hough at 843-422-5159.
A revised hurricane season forecast released last week increased the number of named storms expected this season from 16 to 20 and the number of hurricanes expected from eight to nine.
There have already been six named storms this season.