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American Red Cross in dire need of volunteers following hurricanes, wildfires

With over 40 disaster operations open nationwide, the American Red Cross is in dire need of volunteers
With over 40 disaster operations open nationwide, the American Red Cross is in dire need of volunteers(WJRT)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 4:01 PM EDT
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MID MICHIGAN (WJRT) - With over 40 disaster operations open nationwide, the American Red Cross is in dire need of volunteers.

“I’m going to hurricane Laura to help out with the recovery efforts there. We still have over 10,000 individuals that are in hotels that haven’t been able to make it back to their homes yet,” said East Central Bay Region Executive Director Amy Meister.

The gulf coast specifically has been battered by hurricane Laura Laura last month, leaving catastrophic flooding and dozens dead and thousands displaced.

Now, hurricane Sally is wreaking havoc along the Alabama and Florida coasts.

“We don’t know the damage that that’s going to cause yet, and then there’s the wildfires. So right now, we need individuals who are able to to contact us and let us know if they’re willing to deploy,” Meister said.

But volunteers must go through online training first, which according to the Red Cross is being fast tracked because of the needed urgency.

“It could take up to a week or two weeks, based on how quickly they go through, but in an ideal situation the short answer is 4-5 days,” said Perry Rech, Director of Communications Michigan Region American Red Cross.

That training will focus on managing and dealing with people following a disaster.

Right now, there is a need for disaster shelter workers and not just along the gulf coast but out west where wildfires continue to burn.

“If they need food, take care of their basic necessities, do they need medicine, do they need eyeglasses things like that, so we need individuals that will help in instances like that,” Meister added.

Deployments for volunteers will be for two week periods.

To learn more about how to volunteer, click here: https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer.html

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