Red Cross: Volunteers Needed

Oct 30, 2012

The American Red Cross in western Pennsylvania is looking for volunteers to help take care of those in need locally and on the east coast due to Hurricane Sandy.

The national organization has provided about 3,200 people with shelter and mobilized more than 1,300 disaster relief workers as a result of the super storm.

Red Cross spokesperson Dominique Buccina said they were preparing for the storm over the weekend. She said they called up volunteers, identified possible shelters and put them on standby, and packed relief supplies.

Buccina said, although Sandy’s effects don’t seem to be that severe in the Pittsburgh region, they are still surveying communities to see what type of help they can deliver, and they are still looking for volunteers with any skill sets.

“Depending on the volunteer’s availability and set of skills, that’s how we place them in a specific community or even deploy them,” said Buccina. “So, for instance, if someone had great IT skills and we needed someone along the east coast with great IT skills at a specific shelter and they were available, we would deploy them to that shelter.”

Buccina said before they can deploy to the east coast, volunteers first have to take a training course.

She said they currently have four emergency response vehicles ready to go from their Pittsburgh-area headquarters “depending on where they are needed,” said Buccina. “And they are stocked with relief supplies. So, that includes things like hot meals, cots, blankets, and first aid items.”

Buccina said those who don’t have time to volunteer can donate on the Red Cross’ website because providing disaster relief can be costly.