The American Red Cross of Alaska Is Looking for Volunteers
Emergencies don’t stop, even during a pandemic, and the American Red Cross of Alaska needs volunteers to help before, during, and after disasters big and small in communities across the state.
As Red Cross teams across the United States mobilize a multi-state response to shelter and provide emotional support, health services, and emergency supplies to those affected by wildfires raging in the west, a devastating derecho in the Midwest, and Hurricane Laura’s destruction on the Gulf Coast, the Red Cross of Alaska is planning ahead to ensure we can also provide the critical help that people will need following local disasters.
“The coronavirus pandemic will make it much more challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur here in Alaska,” said Maria Caruso, Disaster Workforce Manager for the American Red Cross of Alaska. “In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community. Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises.”
SHELTER HELP NEEDED 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 assist with 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.
HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED 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. 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.
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING If you are interested in joining the Red Cross and helping in your community, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday or contact Red Cross of Alaska Volunteer Recruitment Specialist Kaitlin Donnelly at 907-201-2660. Interested community members are also encouraged to join the next Red Cross of Alaska Virtual Volunteer Fair on Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. to explore available opportunities and learn more about turning compassion into action. Please register for the event here.
In addition to shelter and health services volunteers, support is needed in other areas, including on the training team to assist with behind-the-scenes work, and on the financial and statistical planning team. Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider and follow local guidance. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.
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