JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Weather experts predict a busy hurricane season this year and American Red Cross is asking for help ahead of time to be prepared.
August and September often have the most tropical activity. They ask if you’re interested in volunteering, come in now to get trained before natural disaster strikes.
“We would love to have people come out and join us so that way they’re trained and ready to go, should we have a tropical system approach our shores,” said Executive Director for the Cape Fear Area Chapter of the American Red Cross James Jarvis.
Not only do they need volunteers on the ground, but they also need blood and platelet donors for the future. American Red Cross collects 40% of the nation’s blood supply. But they say in the summer months, there is a significant drop in blood donors.
“What you’re doing when you decide to roll up a sleeve is you’re giving someone more time with their families,” said Jarvis.
American Red Cross is also recruiting shelter workers to help support people that will seek refuge from future storms.
“As a shelter worker, they would go in, they would greet evacuees at the door, they would help them get into our shelters and be comfortable to ride out the storm,” said Jarvis.
They also say they need licensed health care professionals to make sure people are healthy in disaster shelters.
“We have a need for health care workers, and what we’re looking for, there are retired nurses or someone who still has an active unencumbered license,” said Jarvis.
Michael Brown is a local disaster volunteer for American Red Cross. He says he was inspired to become a volunteer during Hurricane Floyd 22 years ago.
“I was out, cleaning up my yard after Hurricane Floyd had no idea that the impact was so large. And when I found that it was, I drove over to the Red Cross and was loading boxes, helping move supplies for people,” said Brown.
Brown says there is a position available for everyone and you can get as involved as much or as little as you can.
“We have folks who spend 40 hours a week, every week, and we have folks who volunteer three or four or five or six times a year,” said Brown.