Red Cross gets new volunteers ready for Irma

Hurricane-Irma-14

The American Red Cross sent out half a dozen volunteers with Disaster Program Manager, Katherine Reed, to assist with Hurricane Harvey victims.

She says with two major hurricanes and the massive wildfires in the western USA, the Red Cross is looking to increase its volunteer ranks.

"I would like to go and help people that do need help".

He says there's plenty of work to do as response efforts enter a longer recovery phase that focuses on helping people back into their homes and rebuilding what they've lost.

"In two months, there probably will still be a need for volunteers", Hess said.

While they do budget for natural disaster response every year, Marsh said they just can't predict one of this scope that far in advance. "What we do is go around, make sure everyone's OK mentally, emotionally and physically", she said.

She said they have the resources ready if they need to set up more shelters. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation. Officials are requesting more help to operate the phone and text-based system, said Shannon Hanson, vice president of marketing and communications for United Way of East Central Iowa.

Hurricane-Irma-1-4
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale - National Hurricane Center - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

But while Clevenger is going to a disaster zone, he isn't anxious about his comfort or safety.

"The waters are really really high in a lot of places", said Rosalind Scott.

Once the class is completed, the average deployment can last about two weeks.

"You might have to remain at a client shelter for more then 12 hours", explained Nicklaus. "I'm more concerned about the well-being of those people that's being affected, you know, especially the elderly and some of the Vets".

Speaking to the press on Monday, Carvalho said that school employees have been deployed to take up the slack.

For those who chose to stay home and still wish to help, organizations are asking for monetary donations to the relief effort.

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