HARLINGEN — Because of the possible damages hurricanes can cause, the American Red Cross of South Texas chapter is currently looking for volunteers.
“We rely on volunteers. Over 90% of our workforce are volunteers and whenever there is a disaster like hurricanes and floods we rely on the generous support of our volunteers and donors,” David Luna, Executive Director, said.
“We just went through Hurricane Hanna about a month ago and were fortunate to have volunteers that came out and helped us, particularly in the area of sheltering,” he said.
Because of flooding, many people are left without a home, which is why shelters and people managing them are highly needed.
“The Red Cross and Cameron County Emergency Management open up shelters such as the FEMA domes and in Hidalgo County we opened one up, but because of COVID we opened a few in hotels,” Luna said.
“We need people that can register people as they are coming in, with the feeding, that is a big part of it,” he said.
According to the Red Cross website, the minimum age requirement to volunteer is 18 and all attendees must undergo and pass a background check. This includes running a background check on all volunteers who will work directly with people. Volunteers also have to sign an agreement to abide by the Red Cross code of ethics and conduct. People can sign up at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
“Training is offered to volunteers after they sign up. We also need health professionals such as doctors and nurses to take temperatures and take information down,” he said.
“There are all kinds of roles at the shelter. We also need disaster assistance teams, which respond to fires,” Luna said.
Typically, volunteers are around 100 but because of COVID-19, Luna said people are hesitant to join.
“We are practicing social distancing and CDC guidelines. We make sure we provide hand sanitizer and masks. We do follow those protocols to keep our volunteers safe,” he said.
American Red Cross South Texas
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