Red Cross needs volunteers, prepares for ‘busy disaster season’

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The American Red Cross of Hawaii needs more volunteers. According to the organization, it is preparing for a busy disaster season.

Diane Peters-Nguyen, CEO of the American Red Cross, Pacific Islands Region, said it’s best for people to prepare now before a disaster strikes.

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“We had a tsunami watch,” Peters-Nguyen said. “We had flooding on multiple islands earlier this year. Now we have Hurricane Linda looming, which I think we’ll be ok, but nothing is guaranteed. It only takes one.”

The Red Cross of Hawaii is specifically looking to recruit more shelter volunteers.

“So what a shelter volunteer would do for example is help set up the shelter site,” Peters-Nguyen said. “We have the pandemic protocols in place. They would also be checking on those needing assistance, the families and individuals in the shelter, and caring for them and their physical, mental and even spiritual needs. They would distribute supplies, sanitize the shared areas and just generally be a friendly comforting presence.”

Peters-Nguyen said while those receiving the assistance in a time of need are beyond grateful, often it’s the volunteers who receive something out of it too.

“I would say it’s a way for you to give back to your community,” she said. “So you can help care for others in your community and know what you’re doing is something very positive. It’s a life changing experience.”

The American Red Cross is also looking for license healthcare professionals like social workers, nurses, therapists and counselors to volunteer.

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If you would like to be a Red Cross volunteer, click here.

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