The American Red Cross needs volunteers to help on the ground and blood and platelet donors as the season of severe weather approaches.
The organization said the national blood supply is still critically low and are asking for the public’s help.
“We’re preparing for another extremely busy disaster season, and it’s critical to have a trained, ready volunteer workforce to make sure we can provide relief at a moment’s notice,” said Mary Rogers, Executive Director, Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter, American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region. “This year’s wildfire season is already very active and dangerous because of the severe drought and dry woodlands across the west. And experts are predicting we could see 10 or more hurricanes in the upcoming weeks.”
People who sign up to be shelter volunteers will help with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside disaster shelters.
The Red Cross also needs registered or licensed nurses to volunteer in disaster shelters to address people’s health needs and provide hands-on care. They may also be asked to health screen for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required.
After most disasters this year, the Red Cross plans to open group shelters. However, in some communities, hotels may be more appropriate if the risk of COVID-19 is particularly high, including the delta variant. The Red Cross will also continue to implement many of the safety precautions used in 2020, such as masks, health screenings, enhanced cleaning procedures and encouraging social distancing.
Last year, the Greater Pennsylvania Region provided immediate emergency assistance to over 7,000 Pennsylvanians after more than 1,500 home fires and other disasters.
Meanwhile, wildfires, record-breaking heat and a busy hurricane season can also impact the nation’s blood supply. Disasters can cause blood drive closures or prevent donors from being able to give safely. Eligible donors can help overcome the critical need for blood by making an appointment to give by using the Red Cross website or Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
As a thank-you, those who come to donate during the month of August will get a free four-month special offer to Apple Music by email (for new subscribers only). Details are available HERE.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
- Aug. 24th: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Meadville Community Center, 1034 Park Ave.
- Aug. 26th: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., New Beginnings Church of God, 13226 Leslie Rd.
- Aug. 24th: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Erie Red Cross Chapter, 4961 Pittsburgh Ave.
- Aug. 30th: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Frank G Pogue Student Center, 405 Scotland Rd.
- Aug. 17th: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian, 54 East Corydon St.
- Aug. 20th: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Atlantic Ave. UB Church, 160 Atlantic Ave.
- Oil City
- Aug. 23rd: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., First Church of God-Oil City, 11 E 8th St.
- Aug. 28th: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Pleasantville Presbyterian Church, 155 East State St .